Lizard Author:Banana Yoshimoto From Publishers Weekly: — Japan's Yoshimoto (N.P.) delivers an engaging, rather lightweight collection of six stories chronicling the romantic adventures, spiritual yearnings and familial troubles of a hip set of young, Japanese professionals. — Each story is told in a spare, quizzical, highly conversational style, through the eyes of characters w... more »ho encounter odd coincidences and spiritual epiphanies while attempting to negotiate life's turning points.
In the title piece, a man salvages his relationship with his lover, an antisocial acupuncturist with mysterious healing powers whom he calls Lizard, by making a pilgrimage to an ancient temple and sharing disturbing childhood secrets.
In "Blood and Water," a woman flees her parents' Buddhist sect in a provincial village, falls in love with a man in Tokyo who makes amulets and gradually comes to terms with her own religious aspirations.
"A Strange Tale from Down by the River" is an allegory about a woman who abandons a life of shallow sexual exploits, recognizes her own spiritual affinities with the natural world and gets married. A lesser effort from Yoshimoto, yet there's a fleeting pathos to these offbeat tales of a contemporary Tokyo interpenetrated by the routines of modern office life and the animistic forces of the ancient world.« less