Am Ende des Sommers
A novel from Japan
Translated from Japanese by Yoko Koyama and Peter Siebert
© Baobab Books, 2017
192 pages, hardcover, 15 x 22 cm
CHF 21.80 / € (D) 16,50 / € (A) 17,00
ages 12 and up
It is the beginning of a hot Japanese summer. Yamashita tells his two classmates Kiyama and Kawabe that he has just attended his grandmother's funeral, prompting them to ask him exactly what it was like. Yes, what is it really like, when you're dead? And what does a person who died look like? What happens when we stop breathing?
Death has a fascinating and simultaneously disquieting effect on the three boys. It is unconventional Kawabe who has the idea of watching an old man in the neighbourhood, as he is bound to die soon. After initial hesitation the other two agree to Kawabe's plan. They meet up every day at their observation post behind the wall of the small house with the wild garden.
Things then develop slightly differently from what the boys had envisaged … And in the process the friendship deepens between the three very different boys, who were actually supposed to swot for their entrance exams to secondary school these summer holidays. When autumn begins they not only see the old man differently than they did at the beginning of summer, but many other things in life too.
The book was made into a film in 1994 and translated into more than ten languages. In the USA the novel for young adults was recognised with the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the German first nominated for the German Children's Literature Prize in 1996.
Original: »Natsu no niwa« © 1992 by Yumoto Kazumi
YUMOTO Kazumi was born in Tokyo in 1959, where she still lives as a freelance author. She studied composition at the Tokyo College of Music and wrote libretti for operas as a student. Later on she wrote scripts for radio and TV, as well as novels for young readers and adults.