Two immigrants, Salimah and Sayuri, navigate isolation, a new language, and loss on their way to a lifelong friendship.
Far from her native country of Nigeria and now living as a single mother of two, Salimah works the night shift at a supermarket in small-town Australia. She is shy and barely speaks English, and signs up for an English class offered at the local university.
At the group’s first meeting, Salimah meets Sayuri, who has come to Australia from Japan with her husband, a resident research associate at the local college. Sayuri has put her own education on hold to take care of her infant daughter and is plagued by worries of financial instability and her precariousness.
When tragedy intrudes into the lives of both women, they look to one another for comfort and sustenance as they forge a lasting relationship in a language that is not their own.
Written with great warmth, Farewell, My Orange is a book about optimism in the face of adversity. In the stories of Salimah and Sayuri, readers will find a touching portrait of our need for others and the inevitability of change.
Iwaki Kei was born in Osaka. After graduating from college, she went to Australia to study English and ended up staying on, working as a Japanese tutor, an office clerk, and a translator of product manuals before marrying another Japanese expatriate. The country has now been her home for 20 years and counting. Farewell, My Orange, her debut novel, won both the Dazai Osamu Prize and the Ōe Kenzaburō Prize.