Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami
From Counterpoint Press:
Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Asian Literary Prize, Strange Weather in Tokyo is a story of loneliness and love that defies age.
Tsukiko, thirty–eight, works in an office and lives alone. One night, she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, “Sensei,” in a local bar. Tsukiko had only ever called him “Sensei” (“”Teacher””). He is thirty years her senior, retired, and presumably a widower. Their relationship develops from a perfunctory acknowledgment of each other as they eat and drink alone at the bar, to a hesitant intimacy which tilts awkwardly and poignantly into love.
As Tsukiko and Sensei grow to know and love one another, time’s passing is marked by Kawakami’s gentle hints at the changing seasons: from warm sake to chilled beer, from the buds on the trees to the blooming of the cherry blossoms. Strange Weather in Tokyo is a moving, funny, and immersive tale of modern Japan and old–fashioned romance.