Publication Date: 22/06/2023 ISBN: 9780857529343 Categories: ,

Four Seasons in Japan

Nick Bradley

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Publication Date: 22/06/2023 ISBN: 9780857529343 Categories: ,



‘A finely drawn evocation of Japan, of youth, age, dreams, disillusionment, struggles and strength… A poignant and beautiful book.’ Hazel Prior, author of Away with the Penguins

From the author of The Cat and The City – ‘vibrant and accomplished’ David Mitchell – a BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick.

Flo is sick of Tokyo. Suffering from a crisis in confidence, she is stuck in a rut, her translation work has dried up and she’s in a relationship that’s run its course. That’s until she stumbles upon a mysterious book left by a fellow passenger on the Tokyo Subway. From the very first page, Flo is transformed and immediately feels compelled to translate this forgotten novel, a decision which sets her on a path that will change her life…

It is a story about Ayako, a fierce and strict old woman who runs a coffee shop in the small town of Onomichi, where she has just taken guardianship of her grandson, Kyo. Haunted by long-buried family tragedy, both have suffered extreme loss and feel unable to open up to each other. As Flo follows the characters across a year in rural Japan, through the ups and downs of the pair’s burgeoning relationship, she quickly realises that she needs to venture outside the pages of the book to track down its elusive author. And, as her two protagonists reveal themselves to have more in common with her life than first meets the eye, the lines between text and translator converge. The journey is just beginning.

From the author of The Cat and The City, Four Seasons in Japan is a gorgeously crafted book-within-a-book about literature, purpose and what it is to belong.

Publisher Review

This novel is like the waves of the Seto Inland Sea. Waves that calmly roll in and out, permeating the reader’s heart and mind profoundly, and before you know it there’s a rich high tide. * Kyoko Nakajima, author of Things Remembered and Things Forgotten * This is a finely drawn evocation of Japan, of youth, age, dreams, disillusionment, struggles and strength. Nick Bradley has created a set of many-layered characters whose actions and attitudes pull us deeply into their story. A poignant and beautiful book. * Hazel Prior, author of Away with the Penguins * This book is a finely-wrought wonder. Four Seasons in Japan carries its wisdom lightly, but tells a profound tale about the redemptive power of narrative and the consolations of art. * Joe Mungo Reed, author of Hammer * What a thrill to be transported to Japan once again by the magic of Nick Bradley’s storytelling. Warm, wise, and exquisitely written, these twin narratives explore the redemptive power of art and the courage needed to devote a life to it. This is the kind of book that lingers in the heart. * Violet Kupersmith, author of Build Your House Around My Body * A beautifully constructed story within a story that builds to an emotional and satisfying conclusion; I loved being immersed in the characters’ experiences of heartbreak, warmth, finding purpose and, of course, cats, in the shifting seasons of urban and rural Japan. Ayako is a character I will carry with me for a long time. * Eleanor Wasserberg, author of The Light at the End of the Day * I savoured every line of this beautifully observed portrait of Japan. Bradley creates a world and characters that are completely engrossing. * Bea Setton, author of Berlin * An affecting tale of lost souls making connections, told with wit, compassion and gentle inventiveness. * Tom Watson, author of Metronome * A beguiling book within a book that delicately traces the interconnectedness of lives across generations, within families, between strangers, and between books and their readers. I loved it. * Andrew Cowan, author of Worthless Men * Gentle, restrained and utterly captivating. I love this book. * Robbie Arnott, author of The Rain Heron * Gorgeous. Four Seasons in Japan is the best kind of book: layered, interlinked and clever, but also delicately drawn, immersive and big-hearted. I strung out the last chapters, reluctant to let the beguiling characters go. * Rebecca Stott, author of In The Days of Rain * Nick Bradley’s ingenious choreography of a constantly moving city, is touching, surprising and sometimes heartbreaking * Guardian, on THE CAT AND THE CITY * The key pleasure of reading this book is its sprightly vigour – cool but not hipsterish, ambitious but not pretentious – that evokes a similar liveliness in the reader. It makes you feel young again * John Self, The Times, on THE CAT AND THE CITY * I wolfed down these interlocking stories of cats, Tokyo, loneliness and redemption. Congratulations to Nick Bradley on this vibrant and accomplished debut * David Mitchell, on THE CAT AND THE CITY * An ideal tonic for anyone craving far-flung adventure * Mail on Sunday, on THE CAT AND THE CITY * Inventive, beguiling * Sunday Times, on THE CAT AND THE CITY *

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