A mother and daughter travel from abroad to meet in Tokyo: they walk along the canals through the autumn evenings, escape the typhoon rains, share meals in small cafés and restaurants, and visit galleries to see some of the city’s most radical modern art. All the while, they talk: about the weather, horoscopes, clothes, and objects, about family, distance, and memory. But uncertainties abound. Who is really speaking here – is it only the daughter? And what is the real reason behind this elliptical, perhaps even spectral journey? At once a careful reckoning and an elegy, Cold Enough for Snow questions whether any of us speak a common language, which dimensions can contain love, and what claim we have to truly know another’s inner world.
‘Slim, beautifully simple...Au’s new work...shows that she has learnt to play to her strengths.…She finds momentum in the closely observed oscillations of a single relationship.’ —Baya Simons,Financial Times
‘Au’s novel is ... masterly in the way it evokes our dissociation from desire—our own and other people’s... we can sense it in the soft, patient warmth of Au’s prose, which sometimes feels attuned to truths just out of the narrator’s reach.’ —Peter C. Baker,New Yorker