Marion Poschmann’s serene, playful, profoundly moving story of the transformations we seek and the ones we find along the way. Translated by Jen Calleja.

Gilbert Silvester, a lecturer on beard fashions in film, wakes one day from a dream that his wife has cheated on him. In response he flees - immediately, irrationally, inexplicably - to Japan. In Tokyo, he discovers the travel writings of the great Japanese poet Basho. Suddenly, from Gilbert’s directionless crisis there emerges a purpose: a pilgrimage in the footsteps of the poet to see the moon rise over the pine islands of Matsushima. A new beginning to give meaning to his ruptured life.

2019 International Booker Prize
Published by
Serpent's Tail
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