Mari Akasaka, Author, Michael Emmerich, Translator , trans. from the Japanese by Michael Emmerich. Soft Skull $12.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-933368-61-0

A 31-year old Japanese journalist finds refuge from her self-destructive impulses with a long-distance trucker in Akasaka's American debut. (She has published three novels in Japan.) Narrator Rei Hayakawa—bulimic, alcoholic, with voices in her head—intends to drink herself into a stupor after a humiliating appearance on a televised panel on juvenile delinquency, but instead, she has a mild freak-out in a convenience stores and meets truck driver Okabe Takakoshi, a former gangster, pimp and delinquent of the very type she has just tried to analyze on the panel. Rei instantly (and nearly without thought) abandons her life to accompany Okabe on the road. They, of course, become lovers, and though romantic clichés are sometimes a hairbreadth away, everything familiar is made strange through the lens of Rei's jumbled consciousness. (Kudos to Emmerich for a translation that impressively conveys the subtleties of Rei's self-loathing.) For a novel about sex and escape narrated by (arguably) a nutcase, the author's restraint and clarity of vision is most impressive: solutions are not easily realized, and the "love story" trashes the traditional mold. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/02/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
Show other formats
Paperback - 978-950-04-2797-5
Hardcover - 130 pages - 978-0-571-21082-4
Paperback - 130 pages - 978-0-571-21087-9
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.