Parade’s enigmatic story along with the translator’s deft handling of Kawakami’s understated, lyrical prose make for an engaging novella. Besides, it’s probably a fool’s errand to try to distill just a single meaning from the tale anyway. After all, when Tsukiko asks a classmate why she has been latched on to by these bizarre creatures, she’s told, “I’m not really sure. But you know, there are plenty of other things out there that don’t make sense, right?
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