Monday, 17 November 2008
Fear and Trembling by Amélie Nothomb
Amélie Nothomb was born in Japan to a Belgian family. She lived in Japan until she was five years old, and returned to work for a year in a Japanese company when she was 21, to work as a translator.
Eleven years later she wrote the book Stupeur et Tremblements, translated as Fear and Trembling which tells the story of a young woman going to work in a Japanese firm, and comping up against all the intricacies of Japanese ways. It is both depressing and amusing at the same time, but above all it gives some insight into working life in Japan, an extreme culture clash even if it has been exaggerated.
I loved the book. It is short, so a quick and easy read, but at the same time thought provoking. I am often put off by books which have been translated, but this is an exception. I had no feeling of the clumsiness that is often there.