Yōko Ogawa: ホテル・アイリス (Hotel Iris)

The latest addition to my website is Yōko Ogawa‘s ホテル・アイリス (Hotel Iris). Mari, a seventeen year old Japanese woman works in her mother’s hotel and has no life of her own. There is an argument between a prostitute and her client in one of the rooms. Later Mari sees the man, a translator from Russian, and follows him. He apologises for his behaviour and eventually takes her to his house on an offshore island where he sexually abuses her but she seems to enjoy it, returning for more. When his nephew (by marriage) comes to stay, she has a brief tryst with him. When the translator finds out he determines she must be punished. While Ogawa is perhaps showing that bad attention is better than no attention, I must admit that I did find this book distasteful.

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