touring the land of the dead by maki kashimada

this book contains two novellas under one cover – “touring the land of the dead” and “99 kisses”. both explore familial relations, but have notably different moods.

first novella can be relatable to many readers, since it explores the impact from toxic relatives – a sadly common occurrence, regardless of where you’re from. without spoiling it too much, all i can say is that the open ending of the story is fitting and hope-inspiring.

as for the second one – “99 kisses” – this one has been decidedly out of a comfort zone for me. it is written from youngest sister’s point of view on her family, which all women – mother and four daughters. though mother is barely mentioned, all the focus is on sisters – their weird, claustrophobic, almost incestuous, tangled up relationship, beautifully described by the author.

not a book i would actively recommend to anyone, for the fear of misjudging someone else’s preferences for weird literature, but i will be on the lookout of more translations of maki kashimada’s books.