Ogawa, Yoko. Revenge
Fans of Ogawa’s novel The Housekeeper and the Professor (2009) will find the same simple, yet luminous and elegant, prose in this collection of short stories. However, the tone is decidedly different, as be inferred from the title. The collection begins innocently enough, with a woman going into a bakery to buy a strawberry shortcake for her son’s birthday—but then it is revealed her son has been dead for twelve years, perhaps a murder victim? Similar threads of darkness and obsession weave through the remaining tales, all of which are interconnected by the thinnest of margins. A character leaves something in a trash can in one story which is later seen by a character in another; the narrator of one story is mentioned by the narrator of another, and so on.
This collection, despite its sometimes macabre content, is exquisitely crafted, delicately presented, and arresting in its imagery. A small gem.