Yoko Ogawa, Stephen Snyder
In a crumbling, seaside hotel on the coast of Japan, quiet, seventeen-year-old Mari works the front desk as her mother fusses over the off-season customers. When, one night, they are forced to eject a prostitute and a middle-aged man from his room, Mari finds herself drawn to the man’s voice, in what will become the first gesture of a long seduction.
Mari begins to visit the mysterious man at his island home, and he initiates her into a dark realm of both pain and pleasure. As Mari’s mother and the police begin to close in on the illicit affair, events move to a dramatic climax.
By the author of The Housekeeper and the Professor
It's brave territory for Ogawa, and she manages in with sharp focus; she creates moments of breathtaking ugliness, often when least expected...but also sometimes a longing that is touching and tender * Independent * Both very weird and very good... Image by perfect image, we are led down into a mysterious and gripping universe, simultaneously beautiful and terrifying... From the opening sentences of Hotel Iris you know that every word will count and that every scene will be the occasion for strong and strange feeling * Times Literary Supplement * To read Ogawa is to enter a dreamlike state tinged with a nightmare... She possesses an effortless, glassy, eerie brilliance * Guardian * Precisely written, this dreamlike narrative expands into an ambiguous story of sexual dependency and damage. Ogawa's exact prose glitters as menacingly as the surrounding sea * Independent * Exploring dark desires is something at which Ogawa has become disconcertingly adept * New York Times *
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