Kitchen – Banana Yoshimoto

This edition of the Japanese classic, first published in 1987, consists of two stories centring on love and grief in modern Tokyo – the titular ‘Kitchen’ and also ‘Moonlight Shadow’. In the former, a grieving student and cookery-obsessive moves in with a friend and his mother, a trans nightclub owner, and finds a contentment that proves difficult to relinquish. In the latter, a young woman struggles to say goodbye to her lover, lost abruptly and tragically. Told with simplicity but deep emotion, these stories are glimpses into other lives that will stay with you.