Mamoru wakes up at 9am in Berlin, eats breakfast, and then sets off to teach a Japanese language class, carrying a sashimi knife in his bag. At this moment in New York, Manfred lurches from a dream where a fisherman was about to gut him he wakes just in time to make his morning work-out. Meanwhile, Michael is preparing to go to the late-night gym in Tokyo, thinking of a man he met in Berlin only weeks before.
Tawada's story follows the three men Mamoru, Manfred and Michael as they move through their lives on different sides of the globe. Though thousands of miles apart, odd moments of synchronicity form between these characters, the narrative shifting from one perspective to another as the three men's lives momentarily align and diverge. Here, modernity is rendered textual as Tawada explores the strange nature of human connection in a globalized, technologized world, and discovers what this means for contemporary storytelling.
Translated by Jeffrey Angles.
Design by Glen Robinson.
With a foreword by Stuart Dybek.
Time Differences by Yoko Tawada