Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2019.
When Gilbert Silvester wakes one day from a dream that his wife has cheated on him, he flees – immediately, irrationally, inexplicably – for Japan. In Tokyo he discovers the travel writings of the great Japanese poet Basho.
Suddenly, from Gilbert’s directionless crisis there emerges a purpose: a pilgrimage in the footsteps of the poet to see the moon rise over the pine islands of Matsushima. Along the way he falls into step with another pilgrim: Yosa, a young Japanese student clutching a copy of The Complete Manual of Suicide. Together, Gilbert and Yosa travel across Basho’s disappearing Japan, one in search of his perfect ending and the other a new beginning.
Serene, playful and profound, The Pine Islands is a story of the transformations we seek and the ones we find along the way.
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Profile Books Ltd
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