Nov 30, 2021
Rarely do I encounter an existence that feels so deserving of my utmost sympathy. My Solo Exchange Diary is a sequel to Kabi Nagata's debut book My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness, and through a series of loosely connected letters to her future self it takes you on a journey of various uncomfortable mental states and emotional struggles of its author as she keeps trying to make sense of her life and relationship with her family. It may not be as coherent as Lesbian Experience, but that works to illustrate the mess Nagata-sensei has set out to put in order. I would say it is just
as powerful and deserving of praise.
Reading her diaries, I am overcome with sadness, rage, fear, joy, compassion... all sorts of intense emotions. For how hapless her character seems to be, Nagata-sensei has almost surgical precision in analyzing her own state of mind and making it so easy for us to understand and relate to. It's hard not to appreciate such a sincere and courageous act: putting herself out there on display is a therapeutic experience for her, and it becomes an enlightening one for the readers—who may find themselves in similar situations and need emotional support and help in figuring it out. What she's doing is almost like writing a self-help book literally for herself, and by extension, helping everyone around.
You're a wonderful, precious human being, Kabi Nagata. I pray you will obtain the happiness you seek. Thank you.
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