book cover of The Pachinko Parlour
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The Pachinko Parlour

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It is summer in Tokyo. Claire finds herself dividing her time between tutoring ten-year-old Mieko in an apartment in an abandoned hotel, and lying on the floor at her grandparents’ home: daydreaming, playing Tetris and listening to the sounds from the street above. The heat rises; the days slip by.

When her grandparents first arrived in Tokyo, fleeing the civil war in Korea, they opened Shiny, a pachinko parlour. Shiny is still open, drawing people in with its bright, flashing lights and promises of good fortune. And as Mieko and Claire gradually bond, a tender relationship growing, Mieko’s determination to visit the pachinko parlour builds and with it, Claire’s own desire to visit Korea with her grandparents.

The Pachinko Parlour is a nuanced and beguiling exploration of identity and otherness, unspoken histories, and the loneliness you can feel amongst family. Crisp and enigmatic, Dusapin’s writing glows with intelligence.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"A melancholic exploration of identity and belonging, The Pachinko Parlour is a beautifully told story of one woman trying to tether herself to something." - Kasim Ali

"An exquisite, cinematic novel not afraid of subtlety. I looked forward to reading it at night, to spending time in Elisa Shua Dusapin's Tokyo, and in her pleasing sentences, which I can still hear in my mind." - Amina Cain

"A prismatic and calm guide of a book, that looks at the way that even (or especially) with family, you can feel the weight of your own distance. Rich with vitality and versions of togetherness." - Tice Cin

"In beautifully sparse prose, The Pachinko Parlour is a contemplation on language, history and trauma and how, in spite of the ineffable past, we eventually come to console one another." - Yan Ge

"The Pachinko Parlour is a quietly melancholic, softly textured and roundly gorgeous novel about identity and alienation. It will stay with me for a long time." - Lara Williams

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