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

As the current pick will be finished on Feb 5th, which means that the new book might start on Feb 13th, I think we should maybe run a poll soon(ish)? Currently, we are down to 10 nominations though, which gives room for more proposals - i.e. please check your shelves and suggest new books, anybody :blush:

Anyways, I’ll go first:

きらきらひかる

by 江國 香織 - Ekuni Kaori

Summary

Japanese

親のすすめで、医師の男性・睦月と見合いをすることになった笑子。しかし、その席で2人は互いの秘密を告白してしまう。笑子はアルコール依存症であること、睦月は同性愛者であることを。初めは戸惑う2人だが、結婚を決めたのだった。2人なりに穏やかな生活を営むが、早く子供をと望む周囲の声に笑子は追いつめられていく。一方で笑子と、睦月の恋人・紺との間には「睦月を愛する者同士」としての奇妙な友情が育まれていく。3人の幸せと、現実との折り合いとの間で苦悩した結果、笑子は睦月の同僚の産婦人科医にある突飛な相談を持ちかける。
(from Wikipedia)

English

As suggested by her parents, Emiko agrees to meet a candidate for an arranged marriage: the doctor Mutsuki. On their first date, both confess their deepest secrets: Emiko is an alcoholic, Mutsuki is homosexual. First they are confused, but then they decide to marry. They plan a calm life, but soon everybody pushes Emiko to have a child.
On the other hand, a strange friendship grows between Emiko and Mutsuki’s lover Kon as they are connected through their love towards Mutsuki. After much despair over their compromises between reality and the happiness of the three, Emiko decides to get in touch with one of Mutsuki’s colleagues, a gynecologist.
(translated with much help from @Myria :joy_cat:)

Availability

Amazon
No ebook available on BookWalker (did not check other sites though).

Personal Opinion

I don’t remember who recommended this book to me (or where I read about it), but I definitely bought it because of some kind of recommendation. So there’s that :joy_cat:
Apart from that, I like books that show me people and lifestyles that are outside of what we perceive as “the norm”. Sounds like this book might score multiple times here.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Pretty short book with 201 pages
  • Taboo topics, so I think the story might open up interesting views into the Japanese society
  • Was turned into a movie one year after the book was published

Cons

  • Somewhat difficult-to-discuss topic, so maybe not straightforward to read?
  • May contain triggers?
  • No eBook afaik

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One


image

Additional Pages

image
image

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters

7 Likes