2K7RL Part II
6. Mukatsukuze- Shigeru Muroi
Muroi is an actress and writer hailing from Toyama Prefecture, where I happened to live for a year as a high school exchange student once upon a time. Reading these essays, I immediately felt that something about her language was familiar.
“Mukatsukuze” is an expression of disgust, and this work is full of comical expressions of that sentiment.
7. In the Country of Last Things- Paul Auster
Unlike (#10) Leviathan (and most of Auster’s other work), I didn’t get immediately sucked into this novel. It’s too bleak (the word “distopian” comes to mind). And even after reading it, I’m not sure what it means. The story is told in the form of a letter written by a young woman to a friend at home. In it she relates her experience of the past couple of years in a place that defies understanding. The city and its inhabitants are in the midst of total economic, physical and existential decline.
8. Ghostwritten- David Mitchell
Nine disparate but connected tales (part of the fun is finding the connection,) Mitchell’s debut was a huge success. (TBC)
9. Sun After Dark; Flights into the Foreign- Pico Iyer
I wish that I had written some of the essays in this collection. Iyer is Indian, has lived in the
Not long after reading this book, I discovered a copy of Conde Nast Traveler magazine in my guest house (run by disgruntled Tibetan monks) in Dharamsala. It contained an essay Iyer wrote about a visit to Koya-san. Mount Koya is a holy mountain, topped with temples and monasteries of
Shingon (literally “true word,” the Chinese translation for the Sanskrit mantra) is
10. Leviathan- Paul Auster
This is classic Auster, surely a novel to read again. It has all the elements I’ve come to savor and expect: the Auster-esque narrator, a doppelganger, an odyssey, questions on the true nature of reality. If you enjoy Murakami, I urge you to check out Auster. I sincerely envy those of you who have yet to discover him.