A dark and beautifully written story of a young girl's tragic love triangle with an older man and his young nephew
In a crumbling, seaside hotel on the coast of Japan, quiet, seventeen-year-old Mari works the front desk as her mother fusses over the off-season customers. When, one night, they are forced to eject a prostitute and a middle-aged man from his room, Mari finds herself drawn to the man's voice, in what will become the first gesture of a long seduction.
Mari begins to visit the mysterious man at his island home, and he initiates her into a dark realm of both pain and pleasure. As Mari's mother and the police begin to close in on the illicit affair, events move to a dramatic climax.
Praise for Hotel Iris
It's brave territory for Ogawa, and she manages in with sharp focus; she creates moments of breathtaking ugliness, often when least expected...but also sometimes a longing that is touching and tenderIndependent
The disquieting effect of Yoko Ogawa's Hotel Iris is not to be underestimated; the book is both very weird and very good... If the story is at times repellent, the writing is always compelling. Image by perfect image, we are led down into a mysterious and gripping universe, simultaneously beautiful and terrifying... She writes with a devastating economy. From the opening sentences of Hotel Iris you know that every word will count and that every scene will be the occasion for strong and strange feelingTimes Literary Supplement
Ogawa explores the power of words to allure and destroy in this haiku-like fable of love contorted into obsession....relentlessly spare prose...a savage novelPublishers Weekly
Exploring dark desires is something at which Ogawa has become disconcertingly adeptNew York Times
Precisely written, this dreamlike narrative expands into an ambiguous story of sexual dependency and damage. Ogawa's exact prose glitters as menacingly as the surrounding seaEmma Hagestadt, Independent