RAS Book Club

RAS Library

Book Discussion: The Nakano Thrift Shop

Speaker: Dagmar Borchard
From the author of Strange Weather in Tokyo comes this funny, heartwarming story about love, life and human relationships that features a delightfully offbeat cast of characters.
Objects for sale at the Nakano Thrift Shop appear as commonplace as the staff and customers that handle them. But like those same customers and staff, they hold many secrets. If examined carefully, they show the signs of innumerable extravagancies, of immeasurable pleasure and pain, and of the deep mysteries of the human heart.
Hitomi, the inexperienced young woman who works the register at Mr Nakano’s thrift shop, has fallen for her co-worker, the oddly reserved Takeo. Unsure of how to attract his attention, she seeks advice from her employer’s sister, Masayo, whose sentimental entanglements make her a somewhat unconventional guide. But thanks in part to Masayo, Hitomi will come to realise that love, desire and intimacy require acceptance not only of idiosyncrasies but also of the delicate waltz between open and hidden secrets.
Animating each delicately rendered chapter in Kawakami’s playful novel is Mr Nakano himself, an original, entertaining and enigmatic creation whose compulsive mannerisms, secretive love life and impulsive behaviour defy all expectations.
Bestselling author Hiromi Kawakami has won acclaim for her essays, stories and novels. Her short fiction has appeared in English in The Paris Review and Granta. Her novel Strange Weather in Tokyo was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Asian Literary Prize and the 2014 International Foreign Fiction Prize. She lives in Japan.

Please note that this is a book discussion, not a talk. The author will not be present.
Dress code to enter the library is business smart. Please no jeans, sneakers, T-shirts or baseball caps.
RSVP: bookevents@royalasiaticsociety.org.cn