This is a weird co-incidence, I've just finished reading My Name is Sei Shonagon, a wonderful first novel by Jan Blensdorf and then I popped over to Sunday Scribblings to find out what the topic is and its 'Hi, My Name is'. So, a book review.
Sei Shonagon was the tenth century author of The Pillow Book. She is also a modern woman of Japanese American parentage living in Tokyo trying to fit into a society she feels she doesn't really belong to after years in the USA. The modern Sei Shonagon constantly struggles to find beauty and worth in everything around her even when she faces stern and unwelcoming relatives or grave illness.
The novel is simply and beautifully written and reflects the contradictions in Japanese life, the ultra modern fast moving business world set against love of the natural world reflected through haiku poetry, cherry tree viewing and the careful crafting of incenses from natural material. Modern life is often compared to natural processes in a narrative that flows naturally and poetically.
I loved this book and was sad to get to the end. It offers an incredible amount of insight in relatively few pages and stays in the mind after reading.
Hi, My Name Is.... for Sunday Scribblings