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A beautiful, moving story about a small Japanese cafe that offers its visitors the chance to travel back in time, to find an answer to the question: what would you do if you could go back? For fans of The Guest Cat and If Cats Disappeared from the World.
Toshikazu Kawaguchi's moving Before the Coffee Gets Cold, translated from Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot, explores the age-old question: what would you do if you could travel back in time? More importantly, who would you want to meet, maybe for one last time?
In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a cafe which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.
In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the cafe's time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer's, see their sister one last time, and meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.
But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the cafe, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .
"Before the Coffee Gets Cold... may explore similar ground to its predecessors in the genre, but it inventively limits the mechanics of its time travel to the confines of a small cafe, and is all the more resonant for it... the narrative is deeply moving." -Chicago Review of Books
"The story is gold. Before the Coffee Gets Cold is perfect for anyone who wants to feel connected right now." -BookReporter
"By cleverly weaving fantastic strands into what turns out to be an entertaining tale... Kawaguchi builds suspense from scene to scene, carefully selecting his narrative clues." -The Arts Fuse
Toshikazu Kawaguchi was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1971. He formerly produced, directed and wrote for the theatrical group Sonic Snail. As a playwright, his works include COUPLE, Sunset Song, and Family Time. The novel Before the Coffee Gets Cold is adapted from a 1110 Productions play by Kawaguchi, which won the 10th Suginami Drama Festival grand prize.