Night and Day
Author: Tomoka Shibasaki
Specifications: ISBN  978-4309020051
269 pages
13.8 x 19.7 cm / 5.5 x 7.9 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Kawade Shobo Shinsha, Publishers
Tokyo, 2010
Awards: Noma Prize for New Writers, 2010
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Set in Osaka and Tokyo in the years 1999 to 2008, this novel is about two relationships experienced by Asako, the female protagonist, between the ages of 22 and 31. A keen amateur photographer, Asako carries her twin-lens reflex camera with her wherever she goes. After graduating from university, she gets a job in Osaka but work is not going well. Toward the end of her first month there, she sees a handsome young man amusing himself by shooting fireworks off the roof of a skyscraper. Later that night she bumps into him. His name is Baku and he's the same age as Asako. They fall in love and eventually move in together, but Baku has a habit of suddenly vanishing and, after six months or so, disappears completely. Baku detested being photographed and had never let Asako take even a single picture of him. Five years later, Asako quits her company and moves to Tokyo where she juggles several temp jobs. At one of them she meets Ryohei, a young man who looks identical to Baku, though his voice is different. Unable to forget Baku, she outmaneuvers her female colleagues and snags a relationship with Ryohei, who is three years her junior. Then, a year or so later, Baku reappears in her life?not in the flesh, but as an actor on TV and in movies. Are he and Ryohei two separate people, or one and the same person? Asako seeks a second opinion from her old Osaka girlfriends who knew Baku back in the day. They're not so alike, they say. Baku is now a major star. He exists on a plane beyond Asako's reach . . . but then he spontaneously pays her a visit. Which of the two men will Asako choose? A masterful depiction of a woman caught in the grip of once-in-a-lifetime love.