Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
First published in Japan in 1988, Kitchen is a beautiful novella about grief, friendship, romance, and cooking that features an awesome trans character and a loving family-by-choice. Its companion story, Moonlight Shadow, addresses bereavement through magical realism that never becomes cloying.
Translated by Megan Backus.
Banana Yoshimoto has been one of Japan's most popular authors since "Bananamania" swept the nation upon Kitchen's publication. Open Sesame also recommends her novel NP.