Tsurukame Josan-in (Tsurukame Maternity Center)
Maria, brokenhearted about the disappearance of her husband, visits an island in the south, meets Kameko Tsuruda, the director of Tsurukame Maternity Center, and learns of her pregnancy. Being raised without a loving family, Maria feels troubled about carrying a new life, but surrounded by the beautiful sea and unique individuals of the island—Pakchee, a Vietnamese girl who works at the maternity center, midwife Emily, traveler Sammy, the pregnant Tsuyako—she gradually comes to terms with her lonely past… A tale of birth and rebirth.
Waisho Shosetsu (Novel of Strained Laughter)
Aoyama is a rookie editor who joins publishing company Kyueisha. There, he meets legendary editor Shishidori who has a bagful of unconventional tricks he uses on the job. Keisuke Atami is a struggling young writer who gets keyed up about a possible TV adaptation of his novel and develops a crush on the pretty producer. Zange Karakasa, an up-and-coming writer with a bestseller under his belt that overshadows all of his other works, participates for the first time in a golf tournament organized by a publisher and finds himself helpless against Yoshimasa Tamasawa and other big-name authors. …… The world of a writer is full of extraordinary events involving actors, readers, bookshops, and family. A series of 12 dramas imbued with black humor that give the readers a behind-the-scenes look at the novel business. A select bunko original.
Gogo no Ongaku (Afternoon Music)
The days of her youth when she couldn't grasp the sense of distance between her father, mother, and younger sister… The loss she felt when she learned of her husband's love affair and the emotional scar she inflicted on her daughter… The many things she kept hidden in her heart that she found herself revealing to him. Like playing music together, they wove words together through email. The surprise and joy of finding someone with whom she resonates so well. The man is her brother-in-law, her sister's husband… Romance in a new form of novel composed only of emails.
Ruri Demonaku, Hari Demonaku (Not Lapis Lazuli, Not Crystal)
Mizuki, 26 years old, single, works in an office, involved with a married colleague. Eriko, 34 years old, married, housewife, no children, and recently starting to envy her friend with a job she's devoted to. Mizuki, who is anxious about her uncertain future, and Eriko, who feels a vague discontentment about her monotonous lifestyle. Love, home, job, free time… People are envious about things they don't have but other people do. How greedy can a woman be? How big of an impact does marriage have on a woman's life?
Kazahana (Snow Flurries on a Sunny Day)
So, should I get a divorce? What's the significance of remaining an ordinary housewife? Noyuri, age 33. She receives an anonymous phone call divulging that Takuya, her husband of seven years, is cheating on her. Takuya hints at her about a divorce, and despite not knowing which way to turn, life goes on as usual. Soon, Noyuri begins to search her soul and takes one small step after another. An exceptional romance novel that portrays a kind of love that changes like the passing seasons.
Choko inherits an old house from her aunt, and rents out rooms to and shares the house with three women. Ten years since then, Choko has turned 46, Tomoko 41, Ayane 36, and Masaki 31. The four original housemates get together for the first time in seven years. The women who are completely different in age, occupation, personality, and even preferences in men… Living their lives to the fullest, they open up to each other and form a comfortable, mysterious bond that is different from that of a family or a partner.
If you can have one wish come true before you die… The narrator is a college student who works part-time at a hospital. After he makes a dying patient's wish come true, he starts receiving one last wishes from other patients in the hospital. Romantic interests, love for the family, fear of death, and deep inconsolable grief… His heart sways to the truth about life imbued in the wishes. How do people feel and what do they wish for when their lives are coming to an end? And the small but definite hope that lies there… A story that quietly strikes the soul.
Being sharp-minded and keen is thought to be a quality of excellence in today's society, but is that really true?! From his experiences as a doctor and through his eyes as an author, Watanabe explains that being "dense," in other words not being swayed by the small things, is the most important talent in getting through life. Romantic relationships, marriage, raising children, workplace, adaptability to the environment… What is the "dense-mindedness" that is required in various aspects of life? The book is full of valuable hints to navigating one through the uncertain waters of modern society. The long-awaited bunko version of Watanabe's million-seller.
Zainichi (Korean in Japan)
I was born in 1950, the year the Korean War broke out. Why did my parents' country get divided? Why do people think we're "miserable"? "Korean in Japan" and "home country"—I grew up troubled by these two issues, and when I reached adulthood, I decided to drop my Japanese name of "Tetsuo Nagano" and started going by "Kang Sang-jung." The author's first biography that reflects back on his life as a second-generation Korean in Japan and his thoughts toward the first generation upon whom history forced harsh lives. Many passages newly written for the bunko version.
Wedding Doresu wa Omachikane (The Wedding Dress is Expecting You)
"Don't get married to him. You'll end up coming back from your honeymoon in a casket!" A mysterious warning from an unidentified woman before the wedding of a sheltered rich girl, Reiko, sends the distinguished Nanjo family into panic. The worried mother seeks help from Michi, Reiko's twin sister and boss of the underworld, however… The mild-mannered, laidback older sister and the tough, brawler of a younger sister-the two rich girls of opposite personalities get enmeshed in love and adventure. A humorous mystery with a touch of romance.