Little Pieces: This Side of Japan

Author: Michael Hoffman

ISBN 978-1-60264-605-6 (softcover)

ISBN 978-1-60264-606-3 (eBook)

206 pages

The six stories that make up "Little Pieces" are all set in Japan, land of Zen austerity, manga excess, and much in between. In "First Snow," a joyous chance reunion of a babysitter and her one-time charge unexpectedly spirals into confession and response. Sonoko, in the story that bears her name, slips with practiced ease out of the world of her life into that of 11th-century Japan. In "The Miracle," the miracle is that nothing happens, until the end. The narrator of "The Concussion," age 87, sums up the spirit of these stories when, responding to the disbelief he inspires, he says, "I have the sort of face that turns everything I say into a joke. Still, "First Snow" and "Sonoko" first appeared in The Japan Times.


Michael Hoffman was born in Montreal, Canada, and moved to Japan in 1982. He currently makes his home in Hokkaido, where he ekes out a living as a freelance translator and writer of fiction and non-fiction. His previous books include "Birnbaum: A Novel of Inner Space" (2008), "Nectar Fragments" (2006), "The Coat that Covers Him & Other Stories" (2004), and "The Empty Cafe" (2001). Recent non-fiction stories include "Children of Japan" (Japan Times, May 2010), "In the Land of the [Shinto] Kami" (Japan Times, March 2010), and "Haruki [Murakami] World" (Japan Close-Up, December 2009).

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