Cover art for A Perfect Day to be Alone
Maclehose Press, May 2024
Softcover, 160 pages
19.6cm × 12.8cm × 1.8cm

A Perfect Day to be Alone an award-winning Japanese coming-of-age classic about unlikely friendships and late youth in Toyko

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WINNER OF THE AKUTAGAWA PRIZE, Japan's most prestigious literary award, first published when the author was just 24

A Japanese contemporary classic, perfect for fans of Convenience Store Woman

A love letter to Tokyo as it can only be seen through the eyes of a young woman setting out in the world

It was raining when I arrived at the house. The walls of my room were lined with cat photos, set in fancy frames just below the ceiling.

When her mother emigrates to China for work, 21-old Chizu moves in with 71-year-old Ginko, an eccentric distant relative, taking a room in her ramshackle Tokyo home, with its two resident cats and the persistent rattle of passing trains.

Living their lives in imperfect symmetry, they establish an uneasy alliance, stress tested by Chizu's flashes of youthful spite. As the four seasons pass, Chizu navigates a series of tedious part-time jobs and unsatisfying relationships, before eventually finding her feet and salvaging a fierce independence from her solitude.

A Perfect Day to be Alone is a moving, microscopic examination of loneliness and heartbreak. With flashes of deadpan humour and a keen eye for poignant detail, Aoyama chronicles the painful process of breaking free from the moorings of youth.

Early reader reviews

"You will love it. I hope we have more translations from this author ASAP, she is super talented! As is the translator!" *

"A Perfect Day to Be Alone by Nanae Aoyama blew me away utterly and completely" *

Translated from the Japanese by Jesse Kirkwood

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