Hotel Iris

A Novel

Yoko Ogawa

Picador

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A tale of twisted love from Yoko Ogawa—author of The Diving Pool and The Housekeeper and the Professor.
 
In a crumbling seaside hotel on the coast of Japan, quiet seventeen-year-old Mari works the front desk as her mother tends to the off-season customers.  When one night they are forced to expel a middle-aged man and a prostitute from their room, Mari finds herself drawn to the man's voice, in what will become the first gesture of a single long seduction. In spite of her provincial surroundings, and her cool but controlling mother, Mari is a sophisticated observer of human desire, and she sees in this man something she has long been looking for.
 
The man is a proud if threadbare translator living on an island off the coast. A widower, there are whispers around town that he may have murdered his wife.  Mari begins to visit him on his island, and he soon initiates her into a dark realm of both pain and pleasure, a place in which she finds herself more at ease even than the translator. As Mari's mother begins to close in on the affair, Mari's sense of what is suitable and what is desirable are recklessly engaged.
 
Hotel Iris is a stirring novel about the sometimes violent ways in which we express intimacy and about the untranslatable essence of love.

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Book Excerpts

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Hotel Iris
ONEHe first came to the Iris one day just before the beginning of the summer season. The rain had been falling since dawn. It grew heavier at dusk, and the sea was rough and gray. A gust blew open the door, and rain soaked the carpet in the lobby. The shopkeepers in the neighborhood had turned off their neon signs along the empty streets. A car passed from time to time, its headlights shining through the raindrops.I was about to lock up the cash register and turn out the lights in the lobby, when I heard something heavy hitting the floor above, followed by a woman's scream.

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Reviews

Praise for Hotel Iris

"Ogawa is original, elegant, very disturbing."—Hilary Mantel, author of WOLF HALL
 
 
Praise for The Housekeeper and the Professor:
 
"I've been telling everyone about this book. . . . It's a story about love, which is quite different from a love story.  It's one of the most beautiful novels."—Junot Diaz
 
"Gorgeous, cinematic. . .  This novel has all the charm and restraint of any by Ishiguro or Kenzaburo Oe, and the whimsy of Murakami."—Los Angeles Times
 
"Strangely charming, flecked with enough wit and mystery to keep us engaged throughout."—The Washington Post Book World
 
Praise for The Diving Pool:
 
"Still waters run dark in these bright yet eerie novellas, whose crisp, almost guileless prose hides unexpected menace."—The New York Times Book Review
 
"Exquisitly disturbing . . . Ogawa steadily builds the tension to an unexpected crescendo."—Elle
 
"Ogawa writes in a lean, muscular way that goes deep, exploring how malevolence coexists with everyday impulse. . . . She creates a memorable unease."—Los Angeles Times

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About the Author

Yoko Ogawa

Yoko Ogawa's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, and Zoetrope. Since 1988 she has published more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, and has won every major Japanese literary award.

Yoko Ogawa

Yoko Ogawa

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Available Formats and Book Details

Hotel Iris
A Novel
Yoko Ogawa

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Picador
March 2010
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429922685
ISBN10: 1429922680
176 pages
$9.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
March 2010
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312425241
ISBN10: 0312425244
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 176 pages
$14.00
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Picador

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