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Hiromi Kawakami’s Strange Weather in Tokyo is quiet and cleansing, full of cool humidity and heavy rainy nights. Tsukiko (38, and a bit of a closed circle) encounters her old high school Japanese teacher, Sensei, 70, in a favorite neighborhood bar. The two easily chat over a drink, and discover they share many similarities, and quirks. What follows is the development of a unique and deeply complementary relationship. Kawakami describes this thread tangentially occurring with comfortingly lovely monologues of everyday life. It’s an easy pleasure to read, with prickles of pain, loneliness, and loss. Perfect for this wildly transformative time of year.— From Charlotte's Picks
Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Asian Literary Prize, Strange Weather in Tokyo is a story of loneliness and love that defies age.
Tsukiko, thirty-eight, works in an office and lives alone. One night, she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, "Sensei," in a local bar. Tsukiko had only ever called him "Sensei" ("Teacher"). He is thirty years her senior, retired, and presumably a widower. Their relationship develops from a perfunctory acknowledgment of each other as they eat and drink alone at the bar, to a hesitant intimacy which tilts awkwardly and poignantly into love.
As Tsukiko and Sensei grow to know and love one another, time's passing is marked by Kawakami's gentle hints at the changing seasons: from warm sake to chilled beer, from the buds on the trees to the blooming of the cherry blossoms. Strange Weather in Tokyo is a moving, funny, and immersive tale of modern Japan and old-fashioned romance.