The Lake
By Yasunari Kawabata (Kodansha)

Though this edition of The Lake is little more than a repackaging of the same translation that's been in print for years, any excuse to discuss this underappreciated work is welcome. Kawabata was known for work (like the more-famous Snow Country) that was frighteningly melancholic in its use of deceptively straightforward surrealism, and The Lake is a fine example. Though only one story – that of a creepy and rather distasteful fugitive – is at work here, it's told via shifting narrative perspectives from different points in time. Kawabata's elegant use of dense detail and impressionistic ephemera results in thickets of dialogue and imagery that would muddle the plot in lesser hands. But Kawabata maintains a consistency of tone and a steadiness of tempo that makes The Lake a challenging first read that still yields rewards upon return visits.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.