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Parade (Kobo eBook)
Parade: A Folktale is the enchanting companion to Strange Weather in Tokyo, a poetic novel by celebrated Japanese author Hiromi Kawakami; Strange Weather in Tokyo was short-listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2014 and won the Tanizaki Prize in 2001
Parade features Tsukiko, the lead character of Strange Weather in Tokyo, as she tells a childhood story to Sensei on a lazy summer afternoon
A small masterpiece, Parade engages with the tradition of Japanese folktale, using a mythical creature that often appears in the country's folklore to tell a subtle, contemporary story about bullying, pack mentality, passivity, and silence in Japanese schools and culture
In an afterword, the author describes her inspiration for returning to these characters: “What happened to Tsukiko after Sensei died? . . . And if I were to go even further back, to when Sensei was still alive, I wonder how Tsukiko and Sensei really did spend their time, day by day.”
This compact and poignant companion book will delight Kawakami and translation fans in general; the book will be a beautiful object with illustrations from the original Japanese edition, perfectly sized for cashwrap point-of-sale opportunities. The package calls to mind Penguin's Great Ideas Series.
Parade includes sensuous descriptions of Japanese food and traditional food preparation (do not read while hungry)
Parade will resonate with fans of Hayao Miyazaki's film Spirited Away and Banana Yoshimoto's Kitchen
Bookseller Praise for Parade
"[Parade] absolutely transfixed me. The illustrations are delicate and beautiful and expressive, and even a little menacing, all at the same time." —Cindy Pauldine, The River's End Bookstore (Oswego, NY)
"This is a very charming short story that blends Japanese folk monsters, also known as tengu, with a young girl's imagination. One lazy afternoon, a student is asked by her sensei to tell him a story and she remembers a time in her childhood that two 'monsters' appeared at her side. All at once she realizes the world is not as it seems." —Mikala Stroud, The Book Seller (Grass Valley, CA)
"A slim, surprising story to read over a coffee while watching the backpacks parade back to school." —Marika McCoola, Porter Square Books (Cambridge, MA)
"Parade is a simple and brief, yet profound and impactful companion to Kawakami's Strange Weather in Tokyo, though it also stands on its own. Tsukiko is spending a summer afternoon with her sensei, who asks her to tell a story. She tells of her childhood when she was visited by tengu, characters from Japanese folklore, who cause some mischief after their arrival. A brilliant little story on human (and beyond) connection." —Carl Kranz, Fountain Bookstore (Richmond, VA)
"Parade is a whimsical fable of childhood wonder and innocence. Illustrated throughout and peppered with Hiromi Kawakami's signature ethereal prose, this novelette is a perfectly simple escape." —Uriel Perez, BookPeople (Austin, TX)
“Short little story featuring Japanese folk creatures. Freaking adorable. Quite bizarre.” —Gwen Hunter, Solid State Books (Washington, D.C.)
“Kawakami is a master at bizarre and tender. Tsukiko's Sensei asks for a story and she delivers one of her past. A folktale of children followed by mystic beings and the effect those children have on those beings. Like the author herself, I can't help but wonder how Tsukiko and Sensei live outside the window of the story. This is the feeling of Parade, like peeking into another world. An odd and quiet world.” —Lucia Drinkwalter, Flyleaf Books (Chapel Hill, NC)
“A short, beautiful tale. This is my first introduction to Hiromi Kawakami, and I can't wait to read more!” —Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks (Winston-Salem, NC)
“Both charming and curious, like a mystical trinket. It's so tiny and endlessly perplexing, making it the perfect book to share among friends—to share theories and puzzle over the beautifully puzzling illustrations.” —Luis Correa, Avid Bookshop (Athens, GA)