Harmless Like You

Author(s): Rowan Hisayo Buchanan


'This brilliant debut novel by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is cause for celebration.' LORRIE MOORE Written in startlingly beautiful prose, HARMLESS LIKE YOU is set across New York, Berlin and Connecticut, following the stories of Yuki Oyama, a Japanese girl fighting to make it as an artist, and Yuki's son Jay who, as an adult in the present day, is forced to confront his mother who abandoned him when he was only two years old. HARMLESS LIKE YOU is an unforgettable novel about the complexities of identity, art, adolescent friendships and familial bonds, offering a unique exploration of love, loneliness and reconciliation.


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'This brilliant debut novel by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is cause for celebration.' LORRIE MOORE Sublime - calm, profound, beautifully controlled and with startling splashes of colour. CHRIS CLEAVE What a beautiful book. So measured and confident for a debut - really impressive stuff. The fine brushwork of a meticulous student of the human condition, set within the rich, widescreen drama of a bold and visionary storyteller. It's like staring at a stone at the bottom of a very clear, but slowly shifting, lake. An enchanting and deftly layered exploration of desire, self-identity and belonging. EMMA JANE UNSWORTH Impressive debut ... sensitively explores loneliness and the desire to belong against the need for freedom, both personal and artistic. Bookseller, Editor's Pick This is a book I've been waiting for since before its author was born. And yet I could never have predicted it. It is a book about beauty and belonging, suffering and being lost, a book that takes into account history, the implications of separation and disorientation. Rowan Hisayo Buchanan cleaves to her idiosyncrasies, foregoing whitewash in favor of her ownglittering vision. She is "the seer, not the seen." The result is a gift-unassuming, elegant, vividly prismatic. Not since Sigrid Nunez's A Feather on the Breath of God has a book shone such a moving light on multiracial, interracial, and transnational relationships. Regardless of your flesh tone, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan's study of color-its history, its strangeness, its allure, and its consequences - will dazzle you. JENNIFER TSENG, author of Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness HARMLESS LIKE YOU is the story of a mother and her son, but it is too an ode to the outsider, a Japanese-American artist who must also create her own, unprecedented identity in 1960s New York. Moving from Manhattan to Berlin, from the Vietnam War to the new millennium, Buchanan's debut explores the thin line between attachment and abandonment, love and pain, selfishness and sacrifice. With kaleidoscopic prose and characters all too human, HARMLESS LIKE YOU is an unforgettable debut, as rich in darkness and light as it is in color. CHLOE BENJAMIN, author of The Anatomy of Dreams With luminous prose, unflinching honesty, and compelling narrative drive ... HARMLESS LIKE YOU is a stunning debut that reads like the work of a seasoned novelist. JUDITH MITCHELL, author of A Reunion of Ghosts Rowan Hisayo Buchanan's passionate, gorgeously-written debut novel investigates harmlessness and harm, power and vulnerability, free will and fate. ELLIS AVERY, author of The Family Tooth

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is a Japanese-British-Chinese-American writer. She has a BA from Columbia University, an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is currently working on a PhD at the University of East Anglia. Her writing has appeared in, among other places, NPR's Selected Shorts, TriQuarterly, the Tin House Open Bar, the Indiana Review and she is a 2015 Margins Fellow at the Asian American Writers Workshop. She has lived in London, New York, Tokyo, Madison and Norwich.

General Fields

  • : 9781473638334
  • : Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • : Sceptre
  • : July 2016
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : 320