I’ve started to read a new book called the Housekeeper + the Professor. It is written by a Japanese novelist called Yoko Ogawa. It is very beautiful and poetic in its language, so reading it goes very smoothly, you just float onwards. It’s a low-key story, but captivating and I’m impatient to know how it will end. It is a very thin book (180 pages) with a pretty cover:
the writer, Yoko Ogawa:
The writing style is perhaps a bit reminiscent of that of Haruki Murakami, but he can get a bit tedious and boring sometimes, and this one isn’t boring at all.
Anyway, the novel tells the story of a young housekeeper who comes to work for an old retired mathematics professor. The old professor has had nine houskeepers before her, and they’ve all quit because of one pecuilarity about the professor – his memory goes only 80 minutes back in time. After 80 minutes has passed, he no longer remembers anything that has happened after 1975, when he was hit in the head by a car and lost his ability to remember.
So every new day when the houskeeper comes, she is a total stranger to him and has to reintroduce herself.
During the day, the professor sits at his desk and solves math problems while the houskeeper cleans and cooks for him. On his jacket he has pinned several small notes with things he wants to remember written on them.
The houskeeper one day tells the professor that she has a son, and he asks her to bring him with her the next time she comes to work. It turns out that the professor likes children very much, and he and the houskeepers’ son become friends. He begins to slowly teach him math and gives him mathematic riddles to solve. They also talk about baseball.
I’ve almost read the whole book now, and I think it is a beautiful and sweet story, but not at all sugary.
Inlägg senast uppdaterat: 15 februari, 2022