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The Premonition

Banana Yoshimoto
Translated by Asa Yoneda

The deeply moving new novel from the beloved, internationally bestselling author of Kitchen. Translated by Asa Yoneda.

187 in stock

Date Published
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From the beloved, bestselling author of Kitchen, comes a deeply haunting, heartwarming exploration of loneliness and painful memories set in Japan.

‘Polished, concise, emotionally rewarding.’ Daily Mail
Reading Banana Yoshimoto is like taking a bracing, cleansing bath.’ LING MA

I had a premonition of setting out on a journey and getting lost inside a distant tide … It was the beginning of summer, and I was nineteen years old.

Yayoi lives with her perfect, loving family – something ‘like you’d see in a Spielberg movie’. But while her parents tell happy stories of her childhood, she is increasingly haunted by the sense that she’s forgotten something important about her past.

Deciding to take a break, she stays with her eccentric but beloved aunt Yukino. Living a life without order, Yukino seems to be protecting herself, but beneath this facade Yayoi starts to recover lost memories, and everything she knows about her past threatens to change forever.

‘A sure and lyrical writer . . . Yoshimoto transforms the trite into the essential.’ The New Yorker
‘Yoshimoto’s novels are like jewel boxes.’ Vanity Fair

Critic Reviews

This delicate, precisely drawn novella packs a lot into its slender spine . . . Exquisite.

Marie Claire, 'Best books of 2023'
Critic Reviews

This polished, concise, emotionally rewarding family drama, originally written in 1988, explores how ghosts of the past determine the path to the future.

Daily Mail
Critic Reviews

Casts a delicate spell . . . In a creative landscape that is increasingly homogenised by an Anglo-American style, it’s refreshing to pick up literature that has not lost its thisness. The world that blossoms from Yoshimoto’s text is unequivocally Japanese, in the aesthetic vein known as mono no aware, which roughly translates as ‘the pathos of things’ or ‘a sensitivity to ephemera’. But beneath the poetics, Yoshimoto’s books confront serious themes . . . The Premonition taps into anxiety about memory, childhood and the peculiar feeling that there’s a hidden truth about ourselves we’ve forgotten, and if only we took pains to find it we might finally feel at home.

Critic Reviews

[Yoshimoto] made me believe again that it was possible to write honestly, rigorously, morally, about the material reality of characters; to write toward human warmth as a reaffirmation of the bonds that tie us together.

Brandon Taylor
Critic Reviews

A nostalgia-inflected coming-of-age tale, The Premonition sees Yoshimoto cast a subtle shadow over cosy domesticity by unpacking a young woman’s haunting childhood memories and familial secrets.

Critic Reviews

Yayoi grows up with a perfect family – but is haunted by the idea there is something about her past she has forgotten. So she decides to move in with her strange aunt, and memories begin to be unearthed. . .


Banana Yoshimoto is the prize-winning and internationally bestselling author of Kitchen, N.P., Lizard, Amrita, Asleep and Goodbye Tsugumi. She has published ten books in English translation and her work has been translated and published in over thirty countries. She lives in Tokyo.

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