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Sam Sattler

I find Japanese crime fiction to be very appealing because of how it exposes a segment of Japanese society we don't get much information about in this country.

The one that got me started reading this stuff is from 2003 and it's called "Out." It's by Natsuo Kirino, and it is the story of four working class women who are finding it so hard to make ends me for their families that they start looking for other ways to make enough money to survive. It's really good.


I read that one, too, and I agree it is excellent and probably the first of the Japanese crime novels I read, too. I really need to read her other books and had one in hand as I was choosing which book by a Japanese author to read next. I have a particular idea of what I think it must be like to live there, so reading these books has been really enlightening, and often quite surprising.


These both sound good, and I can always fit another mystery/suspense story in so I’m adding All She Was Worth to my piles along with Out. (I enjoyed Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto, but I don’t read as much fiction as mysteries and am trying not to add to those piles until I catch up — ha :)) I’m enjoying learning about Japanese literature and culture from your explorations so glad to hear they aren’t over yet, and there are doubtless more add-to-the-pile temptations to come. Reading your blog can be dangerous...maybe you need a warning: could be hazardous to your TBR pile? ;).


Oh I need to check out that Banana Yoshimoto title. I just finished Convenience Store Woman and found it a good read. Loved the description of the foods and the stores in general. I think you may have reviewed that earlier right?


I find myself adding books to my own pile at a shocking rate sometimes so I am happy to enable others to do the same--lol. I am really enjoying my forays into Japanese culture. Isn't it interesting what you can learn about a culture by their crime fiction? I have a mystery, another with a Japanese setting, coming in the mail so that is next up after I finish the Kawabata I am reading. I am always up for a good mystery. After the two novels I am just finishing I am ready to get back to Japanese crime fic!


I loved The Convenience Store Woman! I hope she writes another book. I really liked the Banana Yoshimoto book--it had been a really long time since I read Kitchen by her. I came across my copy recently so maybe I will have to reread it. Food is another way to learn about a foreign culture, which I very much enjoy.

Kathy Johnson

I'm discovering a real penchant for Japanese fiction--I loved Moshi Moshi, and have very much enjoyed all the translated from the Japanese novels I've read, most recently The Traveling Cat Chronicles (though that one did make me cry). I haven't tried any Japanese crime fiction, so I'm definitely putting All She Was Worth on the my TBR list.


I need to read the Traveling Cat book, but I am not sure I want something that will make me weepy at the moment. Have you noticed that there are lots and lots of Japanese books that are about cats?! I need to read more by Miyabe-this one will be on my top ten list I think!

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