The Emma Press

The Emma Press signs debut essay collection by Tokyo-based writer Florentyna Leow

The Emma Press has acquired worldwide rights to How Kyoto Breaks Your Heart, the debut essay collection by Florentyna Leow. It will join Nina Mingya Powles’ hit food memoir Tiny Moons on the press’ essay collection list.

How Kyoto Breaks Your Heart was selected from the 124 submitted to the publisher’s open call for essay collections in June 2021. The essays track the author’s time living and working in Kyoto, and explore friendship and the meaning of home. It will be published on 23rd February 2023.

Emma Dai’an Wright, founding editor said: “Florentyna Leow’s work is intimate and beautifully observed. Leow is so skilled at elegantly pinning down the meaning of a moment, and each essay is as rich in personal feeling as it is in aesthetic detail.”

’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’

From ‘How Kyoto Breaks Your Heart’, by Florentyna

How Kyoto Breaks Your Heart, by Florentyna Leow

ISBN 978-1-915628-00-8

RRP £8.99

Publishing 23rd February 2023

About Florentyna Leow

Florentyna Leow is a writer based in Japan. Her work has mostly focused on food and craft, with a particular emphasis on unusual, under-reported, or obscure stories from rural Japan, but she’ll happily dive into any subject that takes her interest. Her work has appeared in Gastro Obscura, Roads & Kingdoms, and the Japan Times. She can be found @furochan_eats on Instagram, or at

About The Emma Press

The Emma Press is an award-winning independent publishing house based in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. It was founded in 2012 by Emma Dai’an Wright and is dedicated to producing beautiful, thought-provoking books for adults and children, and to making poetry accessible to everyone. The Emma Press publishes themed anthologies, illustrated chapbooks and children’s poetry and fiction, with a growing list of translations which includes titles from Latvia, Estonia, Indonesia, Spain and the Netherlands.

The Emma Press is an independent publisher specialising in poetry, short fiction and children’s books. We are trying to make publishing and literature as welcoming and accessible as possible.
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