Parade : A Folktale

3.9 (526 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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On a summer afternoon, Tsukiko and her former high school teacher have prepared and eaten somen noodles together. "Tell me a story from long ago," Sensei says. "I wasn't alive long ago," Tsukiko says, "but should I tell you a story from when I was little?" "Please do," Sensei replies, and so Tsukiko tells him that, when she was a child, she awakened one day to find something with a pale red face and something with a dark red face in her room, arguing with each other. They had human bodies, long noses, and wings. They were tengu, creatures that appear in Japanese folktales. The tengu attach themselves to Tsukiko and begin to follow her everywhere. Where did they come from and why are they here? And what other invisible and unacknowledged forces are acting upon Tsukiko's seemingly peaceful world?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 96 pages
  • 99 x 150 x 13mm | 68g
  • Basic Civitas Books
  • United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 1593765800
  • 9781593765804
  • 277,498

Review quote

Praise for Parade

Long-listed for the 2020 Best Translated Book Award

"The presentation is exquisite: slightly smaller than a single hand, Kawakami's spare text is interrupted by Takako Yoshitomi's delightful two-color illustrations of mostly geometric shapes with anthropomorphized additions. Subtitled 'A Folktale, ' this less-than-100-page tome easily stands alone as a parable about memory, mythic characters, and confessional regrets, but for a lingering, sigh-inducing experience, read this only after finishing its companion, the internationally bestselling, Man Asian Literary Prize finalist, Strange Weather in Tokyo . . . An ethereal, resonating literary gift." --Booklist (starred review)

"Enigmatic novella in which the world of Japanese mythology intrudes into the mortal realm . . . Like so much of Kawakami's work, an elegant mystery that questions reality in the most ordinary of situations." --Kirkus Reviews

"[Kawakami] impressively makes effective use of the short novella form to convey a world of detail . . . Simple and vivid illustrations pepper the story . . . The narration is evocative enough, but the illustrations add to the charm in this fairytale-like memory. Regardless of your age, there are moments that elicit childlike joy from the reader . . . A highly enjoyable and soothing read that leaves a lingering sentiment for the reader to reflect upon." --Daljinder Johal, Asymptote

"An atmospheric novella that will delight both devotees as well as newcomers looking for something out of the ordinary." --Adam Rosenbeck, International Examiner

"Here [Kawakami] goes full pelt into fantasy, leaving quirky some ways behind with a tale in which folklore and modernity collide." --Iain Maloney, The Japan Times

"Part fairy tale, in which some readers will discern a moral, part gentle reminiscence of childhood's passing miracles and memorable pains, Kawakami's compact novel is gentle, charming and smart, as 'pretty . . . and sad' as the sparkling touches of the tengu." --Publishers Weekly

"Brief, haunting." --Esther Allen, Words Without Borders

"The word memento is a lovely and fitting description for this small companion story to Kawakami's bestselling novel Strange Weather in Tokyo . . . A moving story of kindness with the subtle and beautiful writing Kawakami's known for and captivating illustrations by Takako Yoshitomi, Parade will prove to be a precious keepsake for fans of Kawakami and Strange Weather in Tokyo." --Pierce Alquist, Book Riot

"A whispered tale shared between lovers. Crisp and clear, like the breeze on a warm spring day, Hiromi Kawakami's prose shines . . . Parade captures the hazy nature of memory alongside the innocence and naivety of childhood. Nostalgic and warm, Kawakami's latest offers a fragmentary glimpse at easy companionship." --Melissa Ratcliff, Paperback Paris

"A thorough delight . . . An endearing and abstract modern Japanese folk tale--a tiny little story told by one of Japan's most precious and beloved contemporary writers." --Will Heath, Books and Bao
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About Hiromi Kawakami

HIROMI KAWAKAMI was born in Tokyo in 1958. Her first book, God (Kamisama) was published in 1994. In 1996, she was awarded the Akutagawa Prize for Tread on a Snake (Hebi o fumu), and in 2001 she won the Tanizaki Prize for her novel Strange Weather in Tokyo (Sensei no kaban), which was an international bestseller. The book was short-listed for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize and the 2014 International Foreign Fiction Prize. ALLISON MARKIN POWELL is a translator, editor, and publishing consultant. In addition to Hiromi Kawakami's Strange Weather in Tokyo, The Nakano Thrift Shop, and The Ten Loves of Nishino, she has translated books by Osamu Dazai and Fuminori Nakamura, and her work has appeared in Words Without Borders and Granta, among other publications. She maintains the database
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Rating details

526 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 24% (128)
4 46% (241)
3 26% (139)
2 3% (16)
1 0% (2)
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