Literary Birthday – 24 July – Banana Yoshimoto

Happy Birthday, Banana Yoshimoto, born 24 July 1964.


  1. That’s the advantage of insomnia. People who go to be early always complain that the night is too short, but for those of us who stay up all night, it can feel as long as a lifetime. You get a lot done.
  2. No matter where you are, you’re always a bit on your own, always an outsider.
  3. I love feeling the rhythm of other people’s lives. It’s like travelling.
  4. In the uncertain ebb and flow of time and emotions, much of one’s life history is etched in the senses. And things of no particular importance, or irreplaceable things, can suddenly resurface in a café one winter night.
  5. People aren’t overcome by situations or outside forces. Defeat comes from within.
  6. Truly great people emit a light that warms the hearts of those around them. When that light has been put out, a heavy shadow of despair descends.
  7. If you don’t say what you’re thinking, you end up lying when you really need to speak up.

Banana Yoshimoto is the pen name of Japanese writer Mahoko Yoshimoto. Her works include 12 novels, including Kitchen and Asleep,  and seven collections of essays, which have together sold over six million copies worldwide. She has achieved worldwide popularity writing stories with ‘slight action and unusual characters‘. Her themes include love and friendship, the power of home and family, and the effect of loss on the human spirit.

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 24th July 2018