Waiting for Tamura

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Waiting for Tamura
Author: Kasumi Asakura
Specifications: ISBN  978-4334748692
303 pages
10.6 x 15.2 cm / 4.2 x 6.1 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Kobunsha Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 2008
Awards: Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers, 2009
Translations: Chinese (Traditional)
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Country Languages Publisher Title ISBN Translator Affiliate Link
Taiwan Chinese (Traditional) 城邦文化 麦田出版事業部 978-9863440819
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Five former grade-school classmates who are now 40?three men and two women?are at a bar in Sapporo's Susukino entertainment district following a class reunion. Tamura, a classmate who couldn't make the main gathering, is supposed to meet them there, but a late-season snowstorm has snarled traffic and delayed his arrival. The sole proprietor of the bar joins the conversation as they share memories of Tamura and talk about their own lives since finishing grade school 28 years before, returning frequently to the refrain of "Still no Tamura?"

Tamura had stood apart from the crowd already in the sixth grade. He lived hand-to-mouth with a sloth of a mother whose man troubles never ceased, but his grades were top-of-the-class, and he was good at sports as well. Though generally a boy of few words, he created quite a stir by telling the class outcast that he liked her. After finishing grade school, he was sent to live with some distant relatives; he later went through an apprenticeship to become a tofu maker, and had in fact ended up marrying the girl. Among the many things revealed in the course of the conversation, two of those present have secretly been lovers, despite each being married. The clock moves past 3:00 in the morning, and Tamura still hasn't arrived. Finally a call comes in from his wife, who explains that Tamura was in an accident on the way to the bar in which he lost a leg, and is now in surgery. The five immediately head for the hospital . . . A brilliant adaptation of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.