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A Perfect Day to be Alone

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781529427684

Price: £10.99

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*WINNER OF THE AKUTAGAWA PRIZE, Japan’s most prestigious literary award, first published when the author was just 24*

*A Japanese contemporary classic, perfect for fans of Convenience Store Woman*

*A love letter to Tokyo as it can only be seen through the eyes of a young woman setting out in the world*

It was raining when I arrived at the house. The walls of my room were lined with cat photos, set in fancy frames just below the ceiling.

When her mother emigrates to China for work, 21-old Chizu moves in with 71-year-old Ginko, an eccentric distant relative, taking a room in her ramshackle Tokyo home, with its two resident cats and the persistent rattle of passing trains.

Living their lives in imperfect symmetry, they establish an uneasy alliance, stress tested by Chizu’s flashes of youthful spite. As the four seasons pass, Chizu navigates a series of tedious part-time jobs and unsatisfying relationships, before eventually finding her feet and salvaging a fierce independence from her solitude.

A Perfect Day to be Alone is a moving, microscopic examination of loneliness and heartbreak. With flashes of deadpan humour and a keen eye for poignant detail, Aoyama chronicles the painful process of breaking free from the moorings of youth.

Early reader reviews

You will love it. I hope we have more translations from this author ASAP, she is super talented! As is the translator!” *****

A Perfect Day to Be Alone by Nanae Aoyama blew me away utterly and completely” *****

Translated from the Japanese by Jesse Kirkwood


A Perfect Day To Be Alone is a moving, poignant, and funny story about loneliness, coming of age, and the importance of connection and friendship. Filled with cats, trains, and miso soup, this novella is also a love letter to Tokyo, capturing the essence of youth in all its bittersweet glory
New Books Magazine
Funny and deeply moving . . . a fitting introduction to the writer, whose tight, understated prose renders the juncture between adolescence and adulthood with humorous authenticity and tender pain
Japan Times