... a classic. Issues challenging Japanese teens then—'Bullying. Dropping out. Suicide.'—continue to find international resonance as, nimbly translated by Allen, the best-seller’s arrival marks Mori’s stateside debut ... the novel has spawned films, anime, manga, and more. It’s also saved lives—undoubtedly storytelling’s superpower.
Naoki Prize winner Mori tackles a fraught topic with empathy, humor, and grace. The soul’s wry narration keeps the tone light while the simple yet powerful plot beautifully illustrates the impact that perspective can have on one’s mental health. An uplifting tale about the kaleidoscopic nature of the human soul.
Themes of gratitude and the acceptance—and even celebration—of human imperfections guide the soul’s journey back to itself as it learns the value of, among other things, recognizing one’s parents as complicated, flawed individuals. Mori’s novel is both life-affirming and, in Allen’s translation, quietly funny, offering readers a timeless perspective on human connections.