Friendship For Grown-Ups is the first book I’ve read from Nao-Cola Yamazaki, but it is definitely won’t be the last one. There are three short stories in this little chapbook; every one of them is a pleasure to read.
The first story, ‘A Genealogy’, is only a few pages. It is the story of evolution; it is fun, intriguing and will make you dream when you were a fish back then.
The second story, ‘The Untouchable Apartment’, is my favourite. Kandagawa’s ex-boyfriend calls her and tells her that their old apartment has been knocked down. They decide to meet and visit the knocked down building. As they walk around, Kandagawa thinks about their long-gone relationship. This is one of those intimate stories that’ll make you feel, however, a bit melancholy.
The third story, ‘Lose Your Private Life’, is about Waterumi Yano, a highly successful author. Her name though is her pen-name, and she feels like that persona she created is creeping into her real life. And the guy he met at a book signing doesn’t help with the issue.
About the book: Friendship For Grown-Ups
The Untouchable Apartment
Kandagawa’s relationship with Mano ended over four years ago, which is why she’s surprised when he calls her, drunk, to tell her that their old apartment has been knocked down. As they walk through the city, so Kandagawa relives moments of their relationship and questions their decision to be apart.
Lose Your Private Life
Waterumi Yano is a successful young novelist, so her books winning prestigious prizes and the hearts of readers all over the world. However, Waterumi is herself a fiction, a pen name for the 28-year-old Terumi Yano, a woman struggling to hold on to her identity as she is increasingly recognize by her loved ones as Waterumi.
A fable-like retelling which broadly sketches the evolution of mankind and so ends with Kandagawa, sitting in a bath in her apartment, remembering how, in the past, she used to be a fish.
About the author: Nao-Cola Yamazaki
Nao-Cola Yamazaki is the professional name of Naoko Yamazaki, a Japanese writer. She has won the Bungei Prize and the Shimase Award for Love Stories, she has been nominate multiple times for the Akutagawa Prize, and her work has been adapted for film.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: