Alexandra Jacobs
July 25, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Amrita

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Banana Yoshimoto
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Tragic, inconvenient events befall 28-year-old Sakumi in Amrita by Banana Yoshimoto. Her actress sister dies; her little brother acquires a disturbing clairvoyance; a member of their extended, oddly shaped family runs away with her mother’s squirreled-away yen. Sakumi herself falls downstairs and cracks her noggin; her consequent amnesia goes a long way toward explaining the story’s frank, fluttering pointillism, with UFOs and ghosts alighting when one least expects them. Yet this Kundera-esque novel (from the hugely popular Japanese author of Kitchen) is more about the grinding unabatement of everyday life than the shocks that perforate it, and all of its spirits are, mercifully, blithe. B+

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