Reader's Companion to One Hundred and One Ways: A Novel
Bantam Books Trade Paperback
$12.95 U.S./$19.95 Canada
Reader's Companion to One Hundred and One Ways © 2000 Bantam Books.
"There are many pleasures in Yoshikawa's glistening prose and fresh symbolism."
--The New York Times Book Review
"Cinematic...Yoshikawa's story of three generations of a Japanese American family is a story of uncertainly resolving into clarity--and vice versa."
--Los Angeles Times Book Review
"An intelligent cross between the bestselling Memoirs of a Geisha and the haunted-by-a-lost-love movie Ghost."
--The Detroit News
"Beautifully written, thoroughly conceived...an auspicious debut with great promise of things to come."
--The Orlando Sentinel
"Authentic and appealing...lovely and lyrical."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer
2. Questions for Discussion
3. About the Author
The questions, discussion topics, and author biography that follow are intended to enhance your reading of Mako Yoshikawa's One Hundred and One Ways. We hope they will enrich your experience of this wonderful novel.
Kiki Takehashi has recently become engaged to Eric. But at the same time she is haunted, quite literally, by the memory of Phillip, killed the previous year. As Kiki is well aware, her love for a ghost is endangering her chance at happiness with Eric, who she fears is attracted to her only because of his fascination with Asian women.
Kiki has never met her grandmother after whom she is named, the legendary Yukiko, whose poor family sold her as a young girl to a geisha house. Kiki is swept up by the story of this strong, proud woman who, against all odds, found the love that has eluded the other Takehashi women.
For years, Kiki has collected questions to ask her grandmother--about love, loss, and family. In the wake of Phillip's return as a ghost, Kiki awaits Yuko's imminent visit to America, trusting that this unknown woman will provide answers to the mysteries of her past and guide her on her way into the future.
Lyrical, haunting, and stunningly evocative, One Hundred and One Ways introduces a powerful and exciting new voice in contemporary fiction.
Questions for Discussion
1. Even if Phillip had come back, would he have been able to stay with Kiki? Was the idea of the inevitability of their parting part of what makes their relationship so romantic?
2. How does the fact that there are no real obstacles between Kiki and Eric make her feel about their relationship?
3. Why did the author wait until the very end to let us know that Kiki and Phillip had a "last encounter?" What does she try to do by holding on to this detail?
4. What, in the end, convinces Kiki to move on with her life and open up to people again?
5. What is the main conflict in the mother/daughter relationships in this book: between Kiki's grandmother and mother, and between her mother and Kiki?
6. Why did stories of Kiki's grandmother and her family hold such importance for Kiki?
7. The meeting of Kiki and her grandmother would have been a very dramatic climax for the book--it's what the book was leading up to. Why does the author choose not to have that happen?
Included in the web version only.
Does Eric take Kiki's needs seriously? Is this important to Kiki? Why or why not?
Is the idea of not recovering after the loss of a husband/boyfriend a romantic one for Kiki?
Why did her father leave--and stay out of touch with Kiki?
About the Author
Mako Yoshikawa has studied at Columbia and Oxford, and has been a fellow at the Bunting Institute, Harvard University. A doctoral candidate in English literature at the University of Michigan, she lives in New York City. She is the great-granddaughter of a geisha.