“Delectable… Both novel and author benefit from an English translation which seems uncommonly right. We recognize the tone and it convinces.”
—Donald Richie, The Japan Times
By Kaori Ekuni
Translated by Emi Shimokawa
Hardcover, 176 pages, 5.5 x 7.5 inches
978-1-932234-01-5 / 1-932234-01-2
U.S.$19.95 / CAN$25.95
Appearances are deceptive. Mutsuki and Shoko appear to everyone, including their overbearing parents, to be just a typical Tokyo husband and wife. But each has a deep, dark secret, and their marriage of convenience only appears to be the solution each one needs. Mutsuki is strictly gay and has a boyfriend. Shoko is a clinical case of emotional instability and drinks too much. At first this mismatched pair provide support for each other, but soon they seem to only bring each other down. In Twinkle Twinkle a modern marriage unravels, and it takes modern thinking to piece it back together.
One of Twinkle Twinkle’s unique charms is its delicate structure. From chapter to chapter, the point of view alternates between that of husband and wife, and each acquires tricky layers as the story unfolds. Published in Japan in 1991, Twinkle Twinkle established Ekuni at the forefront of young women writers. It sold 500,000 copies, won the Lady Murasaki Literary Award, and was made into a film. Twinkle Twinkle is Ekuni’s first work to appear in English.
Ekuni won the high-profile Naoki Award in 2003.
“Simultaneously seductive and elusive, Twinkle Twinkle is the urbane literary equivalent of well-made sushi: in bright bites of cool, gem-like prose, Ekuni serves up an array of subtly nuanced emotion.”
—Lambda Lit Review
“Sparkles with humor and wit… Ekuni deftly weaves a range of characters.”
“Bright and clear… (Twinkle Twinkle) is modern, charming, and thouroughly enjoyable.”
“This book is simple. This book is a pearl. This book is like water, clear and loose and natural and fluid… Most impressively, Ekuni has made something contemporary, which still manages to maintain its soul. Twinkle Twinkle is totally earnest, and absolutely surprising.”
“Shoko is so tragically flawed that the aggregate effect of all those tiny cracks and imperfections is a creature of extraordinary beauty.”
“Critical and almost surreal at times. Both translator and publisher should be commended for this welcome addition.”
“Unusual modern romance.”
—The Complete Review
“Told in crystal-clear prose”
—The Globe and Mail
“Twinkle Twinkle is an excellent literary novel.”