Review: Motions and Moments
Title: Motions and Moments: More Essays on Tokyo
Author: Michael Pronko
Source: from publisher for review
Summary: I loved the way each of these short stories bring curiosity, wonder, joy to an everyday moment.
Although I suspect that Michael Pronko’s observations of Tokyo are possible in part because he’s an expat living there, I would be just as happy to read essays he wrote about any country. I enjoy learning about Tokyo, the little details of another culture that make it unique and that are only visible to someone who has lived there long enough, but what I really love is the way the author captures moments in daily life.
Every story in this collection reminds me of one of the author’s earlier essays about the way chopsticks let you hold up food and savor it, something I think he himself related to the way he writes. In each of these essays, the author holds up a moment in daily life and makes us stop and think about it, instead of just consuming it quickly. I wish I could look at my daily life with the care and lack of assumptions he brings to his. Reading his essays, I feel that even if he were writing about my daily life, about things that were mundane to me, he could bring a fresh perspective and a sense of wonder. Being able to share that perspective for a moment reading his essays makes me feel that sense of wonder and often a feeling of joy at the quirkiness of the world. It’s a very unique reading experience and one I’d highly recommend.