How Kyoto Breaks Your Heart
20-something and uncertain about her future, Florentyna Leow is exhilarated when an old acquaintance offers her an opportunity for work and cohabitation in a little house in the hills of Kyoto. Florentyna begins a new job as a tour guide, taking tourists on elaborate and expensive trips around Kyoto's cultural hotspots. Amidst the busy tourist traps and overrun temples, Florentyna develops her own personal map of the city: a favourite smoky jazz kissa; a top-shelf katsuobushi loving cat; an elderly lady named Yamaguchi-san, who shares her sweets and gives Florentyna a Japanese name. Meanwhile, her relationship with her new companion develops an intensity as they live and work together. Their little kitchen, the epicenter of their shared life, overlooks a community garden dominated by a fruitful persimmon tree. Their relationship burns bright, but seasons change, the persimmon tree out back loses its fruit, and things grow strange between the two women. How Kyoto Breaks Your Heart is a collection about the ways in which heartbreak can fill a place and make it impossible to stay.