June ’21 Book of the Month – The Woman in the Purple Skirt

Before I jump into raving about this fantastic piece of fiction, can we take a moment to appreciate the sheer amount of literary talent that comes out of Japan?

From Nobel laureates like Kawabata and Oe, to Higashino, Kawamaki and Murakami ( you didn’t think I’d leave him out, did you? 🙂 ), the Japanese literary world is truly the gift that keeps giving.

Up next, a book that I had been dying to recommend ever since I first read the proof copy, and which hit the book stores just earlier this month.

Summary & Review:

Written entirely as a first-person account of a woman who obsessively watches her neighbour, The Woman in the Purple Skirt is an edgy and intriguing read that’ll probably mess with your brain and eventually make you laugh with incredulity at the authors’ genius at pulling it all together.

Imamura has the rare talent of keeping the plot crisp without being incomplete. She writes in short sharp sentences that alternatively make you chuckle and creep you out.

The subject of attention is the mysterious Woman in the Purple Skirt. Single, lonely, seemingly unemployed, The Woman in the Purple Skirt finds herself unknowingly monitored by The Woman in the Yellow Cardigan.

What she really is after though is that ‘She’s been trying to become friends with the Woman in the Purple Skirt for a very long time’.

Thoughts & Final Words:

Imamura writes a gripping story, that also explores the dark side of loneliness leading on to obsession and the depths one can go to, owing to the desperate need for friendship and a companion. 

Recipient of the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, this is yet another gem from the immense literary talent of Japan. Unpredictable, chilling, and darkly funny, The Woman in the Purple Skirt is a book highly recommended. 

The Woman in the Purple Skirt was published on 3rd June 2021, and is available to purchase from Waterstones, Amazon and your local book store.

P.S. I’d like to thank Faber & Faber and Netgalley for the advanced readers copy.

P.P.S. Cover Image Courtesy W.H. Smith

Note: Between Pages is not part of any affiliate programmes and the above links have been provided as guidance only.


  1. Great review, sounds like a good one! I completely agree about your view on Japanese literature. I only *discovered* it recently, but I’ve found so many gems. Kitchen was one of my favourites last year and I also loved, The Housekeeper and the Professor, Kafka on the Shore, Convenience Store Woman and many more…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I am so glad you discovered Japanese literature! I’ve heard really good things about all those books you mention, although haven’t read any of those except Kafka… which incidentally was my first Murakami 🙂 If you’re one for crime thrillers, I’d recommend Kanae Minato and Kiego Higashino.

      Liked by 1 person

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