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Four Seasons in Japan by Nick Bradley
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Four Seasons in Japan

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Narrator Hanako Footman

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Length 10 hours 42 minutes
Language English
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Brought to you by Penguin

Flo is sick of Tokyo. Suffering from a crisis in confidence, she is stuck in a rut, her translation work has dried up and she's in a relationship that's run its course. That's until she stumbles upon a mysterious book left by a fellow passenger on the Tokyo Subway. From the very first page, Flo is transformed and immediately feels compelled to translate this forgotten novel, a decision which sets her on a path that will change her life...

It is a story about Ayako, a fierce and strict old woman who runs a coffee shop in the small town of Onomichi, where she has just taken guardianship of her grandson, Kyo. Haunted by long-buried family tragedy, both have suffered extreme loss and feel unable to open up to each other. As Flo follows the characters across a year in rural Japan, through the ups and downs of the pair's burgeoning relationship, she quickly realises that she needs to venture outside the pages of the book to track down its elusive author. And, as her two protagonists reveal themselves to have more in common with her life than first meets the eye, the lines between text and translator converge. The journey is just beginning.

From the author of The Cat and the City, Four Seasons in Japan is a gorgeously crafted book-within-a-book about literature, purpose and what it is to belong.

ยฉ2023 Nick Bradley (P)2023 Penguin Audio

Nick Bradley holds a PhD from UEA focussing on the figure of the cat in Japanese literature. He lived in Japan for many years where he worked as a translator, and currently teaches on the Creative Writing master's programme at the University of Cambridge. His debut novel, The Cat and The City, was published in 2020.

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Reviews

Transportive, mesmerising and beautiful, there is such a poignancy and tenderness to the story . . . written with lyrical prose that is emotive and warm. Every book worm would love this. Heartwarming Bradley has created an authentic sense of place, capturing the parochial intimacies and day-to-day rhythms of small-town life in Japan Bradley builds a poignant, quiet and affecting novel full of love as well as loss. Surprisingly moving ... This is a novel that occupies multiple worlds in multiple ways ... a postmodern riddle while also making for an emotionally engaging story ... there's something here for everyone. Expand reviews
Celebrate our 10th Anniversary with giveaways, merch, and more! Learn more