Ms Ice Sandwich
Mieko Kawakami, Louise Heal Kawai
A young boy returns obsessively to a supermarket sandwich counter, entranced by the beauty of the woman who works there. Her aloof demeanour and electric blue eyelids make him feel the most intense joy he’s ever known. He calls her Ms Ice Sandwich, and he wants nothing more than to spend his days watching her coolly slip sandwiches into bags.
But life keeps getting in the way – there’s his beloved grandmother’s illness, and a faltering friendship with his classmate Tutti, who she invites him into her private world. Wry, intimate and wonderfully skewed, Ms Ice Sandwich is a poignant depiction of the naivety and wisdom of youth, just as it is passing.
One of John Freeman's 29 Writers to Watch "Whimsical... Described as Haruki Murakami's "favorite young novelist," Kawakami is destined to charm Anglophone audiences as well." -- Library Journal "Mieko Kawakami is a master of the novella. . . A moving and surprisingly funny tale of growing up and learning how to lose, it is no overstatement to assert that Ms Ice Sandwich is Mieko Kawakami at her very best. . . Very highly recommended." -- Midwest Book Review "Delightful... Kawakami's dialogue, fluidly rendered into English by Louise Heal Kawai, captures beautifully and with great humor the eager dynamism of a child's mind." -- World Literature Today "A subtle and endearing novella with a sweet sense of humor. Kawakami touches on loss, societal perceptions, first loves and new beginnings through the eyes of a grade-school boy and his relationships with the women closest to him." --Sara S., Vroman's Bookstores "Mieko Kawakami's 2008 novel Breasts & Eggs won Japan's prestigious Akutagawa Prize. The reissued novella Ms Ice Sandwich... is a delightful distraction, and an appetiser for her work." -- The Irish Times "A touching novella. . . Poignant." -- Culture Trip "Easily digestible...a book that ultimately lives longer in the memory than the hour or so it takes to read." -- Financial Times "Among many other awards, Haruki Murakami listed Mieko Kawakami as his favorite young writer, so you're obviously going to want to snatch up Ms. Ice Sandwich, her first book translated into English. This is a lovely coming-of-age story about a boy who becomes obsessed with a woman who sells sandwiches." -- Bustle "In Louise Heal Kawai's translation, the novella is a wonderful example of the power of narrative voice." -- Japan Times "Reading this quirky coming of age novella was one of the best hours I've spent in sometime." -- The Word's Shortlist (blog) "Haruki Murakami's favourite young writer. . . a funny, touching story." -- A Life in Books
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