Finished reading: Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au 📚 This was a quite mezmerising read. It reminded me of the writing of Yasunari Kawabata, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968. He wrote a novel called Snow Country. Both these snowy books are set in an unnamed Japanese onsen resort in the winter, a train journey away from Tokyo. The Wikipedia entry for Kawabata’s work says:
Through many of Kawabata’s works the sense of distance in his life is represented. He often gives the impression that his characters have built up a wall around them that moves them into isolation… Kawabata left many of his stories apparently unfinished, sometimes to the annoyance of readers and reviewers, but this goes hand to hand with his aesthetics of art for art’s sake, leaving outside any sentimentalism, or morality, that an ending would give to any book. This was done intentionally, as Kawabata felt that vignettes of incidents along the way were far more important than conclusions.
All this qualities strongly apply to Jennifer Au’s book, too. But she writes about quite different themes, such as the relationship between mother and daughter, and the distance that accrues between second generation migrants and their parental place of origin.
I found the prose to be so understated as to be almost tedious, but then I found the narrator’s ‘vignettes of incidents along the way’ strangely engaging.