13 Responses

  1. Jackie (Farm Lane Books)
    Jackie (Farm Lane Books) January 25, 2010 at 10:39 am |

    I’m really pleased that you’ve discovered Japanese literature! I love it! I haven’t read The Housekeeper and the Professor yet, but have been wanting to for ages.

    I don’t normally struggle with Japanese names. I’ve been there 3 times now and seem to find that they are pronounced exactly how they are spelt, so don’t worry about it too much.

    I hope that you find many more Japanese books to read – I’m a big Murakami fan, but plan to diversify a bit more soon.

  2. Amanda
    Amanda January 25, 2010 at 10:45 am |

    The memory thing didn’t bother me. I’m not a science person, but from everything I’ve read on this sort of looping memory loss, it’s common for people with the memory issues to grow a subconscious connection to the people constantly in their lives. I thought that felt very natural, and it helps that because Root and the Housekeeper knew the Professor so well, they would be able to bring up the things he loves right away as they went to visit him later.

    I’ve seen a couple movies with this sort of memory loss as well – Momento, Fifty First Dates – and while they’re fictional and dorky, they also carry this sort of getting to know someone subconsciously while not actually remembering them on the surface.

    I loved this book so much. I’d never read any Japanese literature before it and it was the perfect place to start I think.

  3. Kathy
    Kathy January 25, 2010 at 2:07 pm |

    I do struggle when I read foreign names and sometimes just make up an Americanized version of it in my head. I have this book in my TBR pile and look forward to reading it.

  4. Sherry Early
    Sherry Early January 25, 2010 at 3:11 pm |

    I’d suggest Silence by Shusaku Endo.

  5. Gnoe (on Graasland)
    Gnoe (on Graasland) January 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm |

    How neat that you were able to answer all tanabata’s questions! And that you liked the book of course ;)

    I’ve read quite a few Japanese novels by now (I guess I don’t really have a problem with foreign names ;) so it’s hard to choose favourites… I guess The Wind-up Bird Chronicle is one, and Strangers, Be With You, The Old Cappital… I could go on! ;)

    My review of The Housekeeper is here.

  6. Emily
    Emily January 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm |

    I didn’t read past your spoiler warning because this book is sitting on my to-be-read shelf, but I’m glad you liked it (despite some reservations). It sounds like a quiet, refreshing read.

    I just discovered Kenzaburo Oe (I read “A Quiet Life”), and LOVE him. Am planning to read more soon. I bet you would like that book – it’s subtle, humanist, compassionate, realistic – I can see it appealing to you. It moves at a pace similar to Cather.

  7. Rebecca Reid
    Rebecca Reid January 26, 2010 at 7:41 am |

    Jackie, I’ll have to try Muraki, as it seems he’s a big favorite!!

    Amanda, I like nonfiction, so I think the thing that bothered me was one aspect (math) was convincing, while the science side wasn’t. But yeah, maybe a reread would make it less unbelievable to me. I just tried to enjoy the story instead of worrying about it!

    Kathy, I hope you enjoy it!

    Sherry, thanks for the suggestion!

    Gnoe, welll, I skipped around on the questions. Thanks for the JLit suggestions! adding to my list.

    Emily, It was refreshing because it was short but I enjoyed the themes. I hope youe njoy it too. Adding your suggestion to my list! thanks!

  8. tanabata
    tanabata February 11, 2010 at 8:07 am |

    Thanks again for joining in the discussion, and I’m sorry I’m so late to get back to comment. I really enjoyed your thoughtful comments on the book. I’m curious about why the author chose such a specific time frame too. I asked my husband if 80 had some significance in math but he couldn’t think of one. My husband is a total math and science guy, the complete opposite of me! Like you, she didn’t convert me into loving math, but I think I can understand the beauty in it now.

    I don’t struggle with Japanese names since I’m quite used to them, but I do struggle with others sometimes, especially languages that I’m not at all familiar with and that end up being spelled in English with lots of consonants. ;)

    Favourites? Murakami, although it took a couple of tries before I truly got into his surreal style. I’d recommend The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki to you. It’s a lovely story of sisters and changing traditions after the war.
    There is still so much Japanese lit that I haven’t read though. I’m really looking forward to the other books on the schedule this year and discovering some more great Japanese literature.
    .-= tanabata´s last post on blog ..‘Pillow Book’ Friday: Week One =-.

  9. tanabata
    tanabata February 11, 2010 at 8:24 am |

    I forgot to mention that I added a comment to the discussion post about Euler’s formula, in case you aren’t subscribed to follow-up comments. And since I’m here, I think the professor would have felt close to Root later when Root had grown up because of the fact that Root had come to love math and would surely have chatted math with the professor whenever they saw him.
    .-= tanabata´s last post on blog ..‘Pillow Book’ Friday: Week One =-.

  10. Rebecca Reid
    Rebecca Reid February 15, 2010 at 7:43 am |

    Tanabata, I saw the comment on Euler’s formula. Still doesn’t make everything clear to me, but very interesting! Thanks for the JLit recs. I saw your post on the Makioka sisters and liked the idea of an Austen-esque romance via JLit!

  11. East Asian Authors « Diversify Your Reading

    [...] Ogawa, Yoko (Japanese, Wikipedia) The Housekeeper and the Professor: Reviewed at Paperback Reader, Rebecca Reads [...]

  12. Mel u
    Mel u May 28, 2010 at 6:42 pm |

    I just finished this book yesterday-I liked it a lot-I also enjoyed her collection of three novellas, The Diving Pool-I am currently reading Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse
    .-= Mel u´s last post on blog ..Welcome to all Book Blog Hoppers =-.

  13. Cryptographic Romance
    Cryptographic Romance February 9, 2011 at 6:41 pm |

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