Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review: Fear and Trembling by Amelie Nothomb

Title: Fear and Trembling
Author: Amelie Nothomb
Genre: Literary / Memoir
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
First Published: 1999 (as Stupeur et tremblements)
Pages: 144

This is a gem of a little book, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading!
Part novella and part memoir, it is based on the true experiences of the author, Amelie Nothomb. She is a Belgian woman who goes to work for a Japanese company. Even though she is knows Japanese customs inside and out, and is fluent in the language, she finds herself continually making cultural blunders, and gaining the hatred of her superiors despite her efforts to reverse their opinion of her. Despite the lack of reciprocal feelings, Amelie is fascinated and deeply loyal to her direct supervisor, the beautiful and confident Fubuki Mori, with whom she shares a tumultuous relationship.
This book is easy to read, but has a sort of simplistic beauty to it that leaves it without need for fancy wording or flowery prose.
Nothomb is a brilliant writer, and she peppers her story with dashes of culture, insight, clever wording. Without taking up much space, every character is strong and distinctive.
I loved the sense of Japanese culture, so deeply ingrained in its people, that this book showed a glimpse of.
I will remember this book for a long while, and I am looking forward to reading more by Amelie-San.