Hotel Iris, 2010 Shortlist
Translated by Stephen Snyder
Yoko Ogawa’s fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, and Zoetrope. Since 1988 she has published more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction and has won every major Japanese literary award. Her fiction has been translated into twenty-five languages.
Hotel Iris is set in a crumbling sea-side hotel on the coast of Japan, quiet, seventeen-year-old Mari works the front desk as her mother tends to the off-season customers. When one night they are forced to expel a middle-aged man and a prostitute from their room, Mari finds herself drawn to the man’s voice, in what will become the first gesture of a single long seduction. In spite of her provincial surroundings, and her cool but controlling mother, Mari is a sophisticated observer of human desire, and she sees in this man something she has long been looking for.
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