The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World, by Laura Imai Messina

Staff Pick

The eponymous phone booth here is an actual disconnected black rotary in Otsuchi, Japan, where mourners speak to their lost loved ones. In her gem of a novel, Messina tells the stories of two strangers who visit this kaze no denwa or “wind phone”; hoping “to get our shadows back,” Yui—whose daughter and mother perished in the 2011 tsunami, and Takeshi, whose wife died of cancer—instead find each other. That Messina has created a thoroughly charming work from the pair’s long, painful path to healing –which includes both touches of whimsy and philosophical reflections on connections, parenthood, luck, and much else—testifies to the power of both her spare, empathetic prose and the miracle of the kaze no denwa itself, where even “death…felt like a beautiful thing,” and where grief and joy do indeed go hand in hand.

The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419754302
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Harry N. Abrams - March 9th, 2021

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