Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Alex's Book Club - The Cutmouth Lady by Romy Ashby

This Wednesday post is brought to you by the following Monday and the letter "P".

The Cutmouth Lady is definitely my favourite collection of coming-of-age short stories with a lesbian twist in which the main character is an American schoolgirl going to catholic school in Japan. I mean, I'm not sure I've ever read another book that fits into that particular pigeonhole... but this was very good.

I bought it at a used book market in Ueno, Tokyo where I walked every single aisle looking for English language books and this was one of the few I found. It was only a few hundred yen, so like last night, when people were offering me books for free, I found it hard to refuse.

The back cover copy is pretty lurid ("a perverted gaijin schoolgirl in Japan") and when you boil it down in the corny way I did above it sounds pretty sleazy, but it was way better than I expected it to be because it stayed away from being too shocking or outrageous. The stories unfold in a wonderfully unhurried way, and the way the core theme of wanting something that you don't even know you want pulses away below the surface of it all is really well done.

I found a glowing write up of it here (I'm not sure I'd go so far, but it is good) and probably you can get hold of it here I reckon.

Thumbs... up!

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