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New Directions

Three Streets by Yoko Tawada - hardcvr

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A slim hardcover.  Part of New Directions' Storybook series.

The always astonishing Yoko Tawada here takes a walk on the supernatural side of the street. In Kollwitzstrasse, as the narrator muses on former East Berlin's new bourgeois health food stores, so popular with wealthy young people, a ghost boy begs her to buy him the old-fashioned sweets he craves. She worries that sugar's still sugar--but why lecture him, since he's already dead?

Then white feathers fall from her head and she seems to be turning into a crane . . . Pure white kittens and a great Russian poet haunt Majakowskiring: the narrator who reveres Mayakovsky's work is delighted to meet his ghost. And finally, in Pushkin Allee, a huge Soviet-era memorial of soldiers comes to life--and, for a scene of carnage everything was awfully well-ordered. Each of these stories opens up into new dimensions the work of this magisterial writer.