When Gilbert Silvester wakes one day from a dream that his wife has cheated on him, he flees - immediately, irrationally, inexplicably - for Japan.
In Tokyo he discovers the travel writings of the great Japanese poet Basho. Suddenly, from Gilbert's directionless crisis there emerges a purpose: a pilgrimage in the footsteps of the poet to see the moon rise over the pine islands of Matsushima.
Along the way he falls into step with another pilgrim: Yosa, a young Japanese student clutching a copy of The Complete Manual of Suicide. Together, Gilbert and Yosa travel across Basho's disappearing Japan, one in search of his perfect ending and the other a new beginning.
Serene, playful and profound, The Pine Islands is a story of the transformations we seek and the ones we find along the way.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE GERMAN BOOK PRIZE
WINNER OF THE BERLIN PRIZE FOR LITERATURE
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE 2019