Ms Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakami
From Pushkin Press:
A quixotic and funny tale about first love – from the Akutagawa Prize-winning author
Ms Ice Sandwich seems to lack social graces, but our young narrator is totally smitten with her. He is in awe of her aloofness, her skill at slipping sandwiches into bags, and, most electric of all, her ice-blue eyelids. Every day he is drawn to the supermarket just to watch her in action. But life has a way of interfering – there is his mother, forever distracted, who can tell the fortunes of women; his grandmother, silently dying, who listens to his heart; and his classmate, Tutti, no stranger to pain, who shares her private thrilling world with him.
Tender, warm, yet unsentimental, Ms Ice Sandwich is a story about new starts, parents who have departed, and the importance of saying goodbye.