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Green Tea To Go: Stories from Tokyo

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0935086324
ISBN-10: 0935086323
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 177 pages
  • Publisher: SARU Press (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0935086323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0935086324
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,816,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I love Green Tea To Go- the variety of the stories, the poetry of the language. I've been through this book twice, the first after a five week trip to Asia, the second, while flying to and from Vancouver. Like all good `tea,' there's multiple layers and textures that provoke and excite your senses. The first story, "Notes on Love," is like a conversation, a depiction of `love.' But then it becomes so much more, an exploration of the nuances and complexities of a relationship. "Reply to Anything," is about a revolutionary professor sending postcards from new towns to his old lover (he's been doing this for twenty years). She's moved on and yet she hasn't, lingering on the past, wondering who he is now- I thought this story had a perfect ending. I very much appreciated the surreal elements that occurred throughout as in the story, "Hatchback," a hilarious and at the same time sad sketch of a family and its obsessions. Or how about the "Lighthouse in the Pond," with, "Mariko, however, was never frightened by the appearance of the ghost of her husband. Rather, she was pleased..." The elements are never forced, instead, subtly blended into a world rich with feeling. As the character, Anna, in "Poste Restante," says, "Since she wasn't Japanese, she could let the structure hold her in, yet she didn't have to be bound by it." So we see passion, sorrow, desire, fear, sometimes as a howl, sometimes as a whisper. There's many interesting observations and funny quirks that slip by consciousness but are so distinctive when Lowitz points them out, creating an atmosphere and a mood- you really feel the sense of wonder of seeing it for the first time with the author by your side. In, "Thirty-Six Views of the Imperial Wedding," she writes, "There are as many Japans as there are Americas." In this unique book, I see a vision of many of them and can only hope for more.
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Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this wonderful book. I highly recommend it to all readers wishing to be impressed by particular stories written in a unique style.

"Green tea to go" is a superb compilation of 12 stories and a final short novel. All of them are related in some way to Tokyo, whose impersonal character makes each of the characters' personality emerge. It is a book about relationships, Japanese culture, sex, death, wishes, nature, love, art and many many things.
Each story carries a unique intrigue until the end, when an admirable revelation is unleashed and the reader meets a magic loop moment.
The book is written in beautiful descriptions, brilliant analogies, creative fantasies, impulsive insights, all fused together through magic descriptive poetry.
With her remarkable unique style, Leza Lowitz transports the reader into the depth of her characters. It is through the honesty of their feelings and thoughts that the reader experiences an emerging simplicity from their apparent complexity: the characters dissolve their complex fears in the truth of their hearts. Leza's style explores the truth of the sensations with her human and sensual approach. She plays in her own manner with the cultural differences between the different characters avoiding the use of stereotyping. Somehow, she omits them putting in front their inner sensations, which are universal. Leza teaches us that no matter what our story is, we all share the same needs.
Finally, "Green tea to go" is a tribute to the people that, understanding their true needs, seek for change, accepting freedom in their lives. In the last of the 12 stories, Ryo "finally knew what it felt like to be different, which he now understood was just another word for free".

"Green tea to go is the kind of book that one misses from the moment the last page is turned. I hope Leza will soon come out with another of her inspirational gifts.
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Format: Paperback
Sunday, Dec. 12, 2004 from The Japan Times
THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF

CITY OF RELATIONSHIPS: Brewing Emotions and Desires

By STEPHEN MANSFIELD

GREEN TEA TO GO: Stories from Tokyo, by Leza Lowitz. Printed Matter Press/SARU Press international, 177 pp., 2004, 1,500 yen (paper), $15.00.

Is there such a thing as women's literature -- books that authorize a unique take on life, as opposed simply to literature penned by women, work tinged with female sensibilities?

The relationships in Leza Lowitz's new collection of stories are concerned less, perhaps, with questions of gender than between differing states of existence. Lowitz writes a private type of fiction in which the shadowed thoughts of her characters are articulated in whispers and hushed subtleties; quiet disclosures easily missed by the inattentive.

Lowitz's stories circle around the great themes of language, ritual, death and dissolution, unfolding with the candor and intimacy of an unexpurgated journal or pillow book. The outside world may hum and thrum in the background, but it is the private riddles and rituals, the carefully concealed lives of her characters that we attend to.

Though this is a compilation of works that have appeared over a number of years, there is still something fresh and green about these stories. The most unnerving narrative is the first, "Notes on Love," where the author takes us on a journey along the fault lines of yearning, jealousy and suspicion. Rather than submit to torment by the serpents of love, the main character takes the initiative by flying to Tokyo -- city of the self-exile where she, a conspicuous foreigner can, paradoxically, be invisible, temporarily released from the oppression of private history.
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