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God's Boat

God's Boat

By Kaori Ekuni, Translated by Chikako Kobayashi

A mother constantly dreams of a passionate and all-consuming past affair, of which nothing now remains but her daughter, as the two travel through Japan and through life, love and the terrible pain of loss.

Hardback, 144 Pages


January 2012

£19.99, $34.95

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About This Book

Yoko teaches piano during the day, works at a bar at night and dreams of her disappeared lover every single minute. “Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I swear I will find you again”, he promised, and Yoko never stopped believing he would return. Her ten-year-old daughter Soko, born out of this brief passionate affair that marked her mother for ever, has had her life shaped by Yoko’s constant yearning, as the desperate search for the elusive man of her dreams means moving house more times than either of them can remember. The two travel through life on what Yoko calls “God’s boat”, moving from town to town, and for Soko from school to school, just as the narrative too shifts between the perspectives of the daughter and her mother, tracing them through the years as little by little the story of Yoko’s past emerges, and Soko tries to somehow build herself a future.

This haunting and sensitive novel combines the everyday patterns of the lives of mother and daughter, their rituals, their conversations, while always beyond these ordinary daily events lies what is hidden by Yoko’s seemingly unshakeable certainty: the spectre of madness and the indescribable pain of loss, so inextricably linked to the dazzling joy that only love can bring.


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Author Information

Kaori Ekuni is a fiction writer and 2004 winner of the prestigious Naoki Prize for literature.

Chikako Kobayashi is a freelance translator currently working in Tokyo.


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