Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.
This week’s book:
The Last Children of Tokyo by Kikuko Tsumura
Blurb from Goodreads
Yoshiro thinks he might never die. A hundred years old and counting, he is one of Japan’s many ‘old-elderly’; men and women who remember a time before the air and the sea were poisoned, before terrible catastrophe prompted Japan to shut itself off from the rest of the world. He may live for decades yet, but he knows his beloved great-grandson – born frail and prone to sickness – might not survive to adulthood. Day after day, it takes all of Yoshiro’s sagacity to keep Mumei alive.
As hopes for Japan’s youngest generation fade, a secretive organisation embarks on an audacious plan to find a cure – might Yoshiro’s great-grandson be the key to saving the last children of Tokyo?
Why I Want To Read It
And just like that, today is the last Monday of June. In three days, we are into the seventh month of the year. Wow! We’re halfway through 2021 already! My fellow Filipinos, fun loving as they are, are already teasing about Christmas season. For us, Christmas season starts on September and runs until December; the “ber” months as we call it. I also have something to look forward to in July. In a week’s time, I will be celebrating my 31st birthday (happy birthday to me!). July is also the birth month of my father and my paternal grandfather. July is filled with celebration; I have several friends and relatives who are also going to celebrate their birthdays in the coming month. But before I get lost in my thoughts, let me all wish you a great Monday and an even greater week ahead. I hope and pray that you are all doing well, especially in this most uncertain of times.
To start the week right, I am commencing my blogging week with a Goodreads Monday update; it has become some sort of a tradition. As I have shifted towards Japanese literature, I have been featuring Japanese works I want to read these past few weeks. For this week’s update, I am featuring Yoko Tawada’s The Last Children of Tokyo. The first time I encountered Yoko Tawada was through Memoirs of a Polar Bear. I kept coming across the book that even though I was ambivalent at first, I finally took a leap of faith and bought it. Tawada being named as a frontrunner for the 2018/2019 Nobel Prize for Literature also helped change my mind. The book, however, was underwhelming. It had its promise but I found it lacking.
Despite my unfavorable first encounter with Tawada, I am more than willing to give her prose a second chance. One of her works that I have been encountering is The Last Children of Tokyo. I found the premise interesting for it is a work of science fiction, something that I find a rarity in the vast sphere of Japanese literature. I have read magical realism, historical, slice-of-life, mystery, but I guess, I haven’t been reading much of this section of Japanese literature (and to be honest, literature in general). In reading The Last Children of Tokyo (and some of Kobo Abe’s works), I get to immerse more into science fiction.
How about you fellow reader? What work by a Japanese writer do you have in your reading list? What made you add it to your list? I hope you could share your answers in the comment box. For now, have a happy Monday!