Featuring a delightfully offbeat cast of characters, The Nakano Thrift Shop is a generous-hearted portrayal of human relationships by one of Japan's most beloved authors.
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 coworker, 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 realize 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 behavior defy all expectations.
Hiromi Kawakami is one of Japan’s most acclaimed and successful authors. Winner of numerous prizes for her fiction, including the Akutagawa, Ito Sei, Women Writers (Joryu Bungako Sho), and Izumi Kyoka prizes, she is the author of The Nakano Thrift Shop, a Wall Street Journal Best New Fiction pick, Strange Weather in Tokyo, Manazuru, many many others. Her fiction has appeared in English in The Paris Review and Granta. She lives in Japan.