[Looking for nominations!] Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: セーラー服と機関銃

博士の愛した数式 - The Professor’s Beloved Equation

Summary

Japanese

「ぼくの記憶は80分しかもたない」博士の背広の袖には、そう書かれた古びたメモが留められていた―記憶力を失った博士にとって、私は常に“新しい”家政婦。博士は“初対面”の私に、靴のサイズや誕生日を尋ねた。数字が博士の言葉だった。やがて私の10歳の息子が加わり、ぎこちない日々は驚きと歓びに満ちたものに変わった。あまりに悲しく暖かい、奇跡の愛の物語。第1回本屋大賞受賞。

English

The narrator’s housekeeping agency dispatches her to the house of the Professor, a former mathematician who can remember new memories for only 80 minutes. She is more than a little frustrated to find that he loves only mathematics and shows no interest whatsoever in anything or anyone else. One day, upon learning that she has a 10-year-old son waiting home alone until late at night every day, the Professor flies into a rage and tells the narrator to have her son come to his home directly from school from that day on. The next day, her son comes and the Professor nicknames him “Root”. From then on, their days begin to be filled with warmth.

Availability

amazon.com
Bookwalker

Personal Opinion

I became aware of the author Ogawa Yoko (小川洋子) through this article, and independently one or two people recommended this particular book to me. So I thought it might be a nice pick for the book club.

The English translation of the book is called “The Housekeeper and the Professor”. It was also turned into a movie by the name “The Professor’s Beloved Equation.”

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • NOT a highschoolers’ book :wink:
  • Sounds like a heartwarming story to me
  • The book won the Yomiuri Prize (Booksellers’ Award), the author won the Akutagawa Prize

Cons

  • Might scare off people who are not a fan of mathematics? (although I don’t know how much mathematics actually appears in the book)

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One

(these are ebook pages, so the real pages should be smaller, I guess)


Additional Pages


(sorry, here the Bookwalker preview ends…)

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

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  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

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