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[personal profile] marshtide
This week has been a bit oncoming-train somehow. I have a test tomorrow (which isn't something I Must Do Brilliantly On but which has registered in my brain as A TEST OH NO SKY WILL FALL anyway) and a doctor's appointment on Friday. I'm feeling a little less than balanced. But if I keep moving it's OK!

Accordingly, I went to Stockholm today, mostly to buy tea - we're horrible people so the only place apparently in Sweden that sells tea we find acceptable is near Ostermalmstorg, yes you can hate us now - and to pick up books from the comics library in Kulturhuset. I also went to the SF bookshop, because I just can't help myself, and used my last bit of birthday money to buy Yoshinaga Fumi's All My Darling Daughters.

I have a soft spot for Yoshinaga Fumi (who you are most likely to know from Antique Bakery, I suppose), but that she'd actually written a book about women was news to me, because, well, you know, I don't pay that much attention. But having realised that she had, of course I bought it.

It's a collection of stories about a woman called Yukiko and her friends and relatives and their relationships, basically. In the first story, Yukiko's mother announces that she's getting remarried to a man a few years younger than Yukiko; in the second a friend of the aforementioned new husband's is involved in an affair with a girl he teaches at university; in the third a friend of Yukiko's meets men for potential arranged marriages; the fourth is about Yukiko and two of her friends at school, and their goals in life and how that turned out; and the last is about the relationships between Yukiko, her mother, and her grandmother.

I think the stories that are most about Yukiko are basically pretty excellent. I like Yukiko and I think she's interesting and the stories are well put together. The fourth story in particular I really, really liked - it's sad and a little painful and a little bittersweet and has some stuff to say both about how one's ideas change and about gender equality - and the final story probably came in second. The two stories which are less about Yukiko gave me more problems, particularly the second one... it was uncomfortable to read, basically, and bought into some ideas I don't like. Though I might poke it again to check it actually was saying what I thought it was saying. The third story was fine, but didn't engage me in the same way as some of the others... I thought it contained some interesting things, but had problems with the main character. In fairness, I was probably meant to.

Also, on a completely shallow note, Yukiko! She's pretty hot!

Overall I'm pleasantly impressed with this one, anyway. I had no idea how Yoshinaga Fumi would write women, but she clearly has some ideas on the topic, and some of the things she came up with were really good. Would definitely read more stuff from her in this direction!

I might come back and pull apart the stories and what I thought about their ideas in more detail some other time. But then again, my attention span...
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December 2012

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