The Briefcase

The Briefcase

Paperback - 2012
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"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-traced by Kawakami's gentle hints at the changing seasons-develops from a perfunctory acknowledgment of each other as they eat and drink alone at the bar, to an enjoyable sense of companionship, and finally into a deeply sentimental love affair. As Tsukiko and Sensei grow to know and love one another, time's passing comes across through the seasons and the food and beverages they consume together. From warm sake to chilled beer, from the buds on the trees to the blooming of the cherry blossoms, the reader is enveloped by a keen sense of pathos and both characters' loneliness"--
Published: Berkeley, Calif. : Counterpoint : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2012.
ISBN: 9781582435992
Branch Call Number: F KAW
Characteristics: 176 p. ;,21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Powell, Allison Markin


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samcmar Dec 11, 2017

I picked this book on a whim when it was on one of our displays in the branch. This characters were really interesting, and the book had a somewhat whimsical pace to it. It's interesting to see how the span of time changes in this novel. I don't read a lot of romance, but I found for such a short book the story kept me going, and I wanted to see how Tsukiko's relationship with her Sensei changes over the years.

Jun 24, 2016

Tsukiko's character seemed too flighty and contradictory to be believable at many times. This slim volume of linked short stories would have benefited from a glossary of Japanese words. The characterization of bar culture in Japan; and the bizarre wife of 'Sensei' was discomforting to this reader (prompting me to want to read more fiction from Japan for a different perspective).

Sep 12, 2012

Gently told story of a retired high school teacher and his relationship with a former student.


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