Spotlight on People from the Neighborhood by Hiromi Kawakami


Hiromi Kawakami

"I have been asked why I rendered the ‘kono atari” in the title as “neighborhood.” I think it’s because, for many of us at least, there is something familiar about its cast of characters. There was a lot of crazy stuff going on, but at the same time it felt like a real neighborhood, I guess, so that’s the word I chose." — Ted Goossen, translator of People from My Neighborhood


The 36 interconnected micro-stories contained in People from My Neighborhood create a world that Kawakami has been constructing, piece by piece, story by story, for over ten years. It is a world, as one reviewer puts it, " filled with equal parts fable and the everyday." Absurd, funny, strange, scary, and beautifully heartfelt, Kawakami deftly threads the wonderful and the mundane into a whole cloth of bright threads.

People from My Neighborhood

What booksellers are saying about People from My Neighborhood

  • The experience of reading the stories in People From My Neighborhood feels just like visiting a friend as they guide you through a stroll through their neighborhood where every corner has a surprise and every home has fantastical tales to tell. Totally charming and refreshing, with plenty of imaginative oddities that kept me walking at a brisk pace. ― Luis Correa from Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA
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  • Hiromi Kawakami returns with an endlessly charming, quirky collection of interconnected micro-stories about the strange denizens of a Japanese neighborhood. Each story lasts a few pages at most but all pack a delightful little punch with every tale painting a small portrait of a resident – the chicken farmer, a strange diplomat, the woman who owns the shop that no one ever goes into, and many more. People From My Neighborhood is more about the stories we make up about our neighbors – the lives we construct for them with the brief glimpses we catch – and I absolutely adored every page of it. ― Caleb Masters from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC
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  • Somewhere between flash fiction and vignettes, this collection creates a neighborhood where the surreal is treated as though it is reality, as though there is nothing strange about people hatching from eggs, a school made of sweets, or squishy doll brains kept in a drawer. Kawakami’s turns are as quick as the prose and the endings are tenuous at best until the larger picture begins to form across characters. These stories require the reader to embrace the weird and enjoy the uncanny, many of the stories floating in the space between nightmare and dream-state. ― Miranda Sanchez from Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, NC
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About Hiromi Kawakami

Hiromi Kawakami was born in Tokyo in 1958. Her first novel, Kamisama (God), was published in 1994. In 1996, she was awarded the Akutagawa Prize for Hebi o Fumu (Tread on a Snake) and in 2001 she won the Tanizaki Prize for her novel Sensei no Kaban (Strange Weather in Tokyo), which became an international bestseller. Strange Weather in Tokyo was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Asian Literary Prize and the 2014 International Foreign Fiction Prize. Kawakami has contributed to editions of Granta in both the UK and Japan and is one of Japan’s most popular contemporary novelists.

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