by Kyoko Okazaki
Published by Vertical Inc
Currently in-stock at the Beguiling
Review by Andrew T
Woody Allen once explained part of his process for writing stand-up in an interview. It involved starting from an absurd premise, and then exploring everything around how the mess came about. Giving an example, he describes being caught in an elevator with a piano during a blackout in New York. On it’s own, not a great joke, but there’s so much that can be expanded upon and extrapolated to get to this climatic moment (why was he moving out of his old apartment, why he didn’t have moving men, how did he manage to lift the piano, etc.). Often the material surrounding a crazy situation can be way more interesting, you just have to look at it.
And that’s how I see Kyoko Okazaki’s Pink. Midway through the book Yumi, an office/call girl, is sleeping on a futon in a tiny Tokyo apartment with her kid step-sister, Keiko, and her step-mother’s manstress Haru, all accompanied by Yumi’s pet crocodile. And while that scene is mind-boggling, it’s how they got there and where they go that makes you love and hate them. The thing that drives the main characters in Pink to this moment is sex and how it’s traded. And that’s the story.