Monday, January 23, 2023
凍りついた香り Kōritsuita kaori (Italian: Profumo di Ghiaccio) - Ogawa Yoko
I don’t think there is an English translation of this book. At least I couldn’t find one, even searching the web. That’s why I’m mentioning the Italian title next to the Japanese one. If there really isn’t a translation of this novel in the most important language in the world, well, that’s a pity. This story is a good example of the peculiar Japanese fondness for details, surgical change of pace, tactfulness, delicacy and melancholy. Even of their atavistic tendency for seppuku or harakiri.
The novel is about the quest for truth of a young woman whose fiancé has recently committed suicide. A quest that will take her to the world of fragrance masters and mathematics geniuses, Japan and Czech Republic, hard reality and magical myth.
Ogawa Yoko deserves a place among the greatest contemporary Asian female writers. No, I’m wrong, forget both Asian and female: she deserves a place among the greatest contemporary writers, period.