by Mieko Kawakami - £7.99 Pushkin Press (2020)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781782276722 | ISBN 10: 1782276726
A young boy returns obsessively to a supermarket sandwich counter, entranced by the beauty of the woman who works there. Her aloof demeanour and electric blue eyelids make him feel the most intense joy he's ever known. He calls her Ms Ice Sandwich, and he wants nothing more than to spend his days watching her coolly slip sandwiches into bags.
But life keeps getting in the way - there's his beloved grandmother's illness, and a faltering friendship with his classmate Tutti, who she invites him into her private world.
Wry, intimate and wonderfully skewed, Ms Ice Sandwich is a poignant depiction of the naivety and wisdom of youth, just as it is passing.
(Price & availability last checked: November 2020)