Rowan Hisayo Buchanan - Harmless Like You - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781473638327
    • Publication date:11 Aug 2016
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    • ISBN:9781473638341
    • Publication date:18 May 2017

Harmless Like You

By Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

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An exciting new voice in fiction captures the fragile personal histories of an estranged mother and son.

WINNER OF THE 2017 AUTHOR'S CLUB FIRST NOVEL AWARD
WINNER OF A BETTY TRASK AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE

'Announces a startling talent' Guardian

'Stylishly written . . . exceptional' Literary Review

'This brilliant debut novel is cause for celebration' Lorrie Moore

'A refreshing, bold book' Sunday Telegraph


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.

An unforgettable novel about the complexities of identity, art, adolescent friendships and familial bonds, offering a unique exploration of love, loneliness and reconciliation.

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2016 JHALAK PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 BOOKS ARE MY BAG BREAKTHROUGH AUTHOR AWARD

'Slick and intelligent' Stylist

Biographical Notes

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is a Japanese-British-Chinese-American writer. Her debut novel, Harmless Like You was published in 2016 by Sceptre and won the Author's Club First Novel Award and a Betty Trask award. It was also shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize, the Books Are My Bag Breakthrough Author Award and longlisted for the Jhalak Prize. Rowan Hisayo Buchanan was the recipient of a Margins fellowship for the Asian American Writers Workshop, 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 the short story anthology How Much the Heart Can Hold (Sceptre), the Guardian, New York Times, Granta, The Paris Review and The Atlantic among other places. She has lived in London, New York, Tokyo, Madison and Norwich.
rowanhisayo.com

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  • ISBN: 9781473638358
  • Publication date: 11 Aug 2016
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Sceptre
Impressive . . . Rowan Hisayo Buchanan [is] a 27-year-old with a very big literary career in front of her . . . Slick and intelligent... it's the subtle brilliance of Buchanan's back-to-front tale that really left me reeling. — Stylist
This brilliant debut novel by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is cause for celebration. — LORRIE MOORE
Elegant, accomplished debut... Although this is a dark novel, it is also as rich and vivid as the chapter headings' descriptions of paint colours — Express
Lyrical and endearing — New York Times Book Review
This beautiful novel explores creativity and the complicated relationships between parents and children. — Psychologies
This elegant and moving novel burns slowly, building in intensity as it develops to explore the subjects of identity, alienation and desire. — Fanny Blake, Daily Mail
Harmless Like You is a refreshing, bold book about understatement. — Sunday Telegraph
It's pretty rare that a book takes my breath away. But I guarantee Rowan Hisayo Buchanan's beautiful debut, Harmless Like You, will do just that . . will leave your heart hurting. — Sam Baker, The Pool
Combines a wry, sardonic voice with an assured knack for comic set-pieces. — TLS
Stylishly written . . . exceptional — Literary Review
Sublime - calm, profound, beautifully controlled and with startling splashes of colour. — CHRIS CLEAVE
Buchanan's prose is visceral, startling and mind-bendingly gorgeous. . . .worth reading for the beauty and originality of the prose, for the questions Buchanan raises about art and heritage, and for the characters who are sometimes as maddening as they can be magnificent. — Boston Globe
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan's debut is a beautifully textured novel. . . Yuki's story feels compellingly immediate, as prickly and unpredictable as its protagonist. — Washington Post
A serious, sad and beautifully written debut. — South China Morning Post
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
A well written, unique and engrossing debut novel . . . a great achievement — The Bookbag *****
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
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
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 writes with beauty and sensitivity about what it means to be an artist, a parent, and an outsider in a foreign culture. — New York Journal of Books
Impressive . . . Rowan Hisayo Buchanan [is] a 27-year-old with a very big literary career in front of her . . . Slick and intelligent... it's the subtle brilliance of Buchanan's back-to-front tale that really left me reeling.
This brilliant debut novel by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is cause for celebration.
Elegant, accomplished debut... Although this is a dark novel, it is also as rich and vivid as the chapter headings' descriptions of paint colours
Lyrical and endearing
This beautiful novel explores creativity and the complicated relationships between parents and children.
This elegant and moving novel burns slowly, building in intensity as it develops to explore the subjects of identity, alienation and desire.
Harmless Like You is a refreshing, bold book about understatement.
It's pretty rare that a book takes my breath away. But I guarantee Rowan Hisayo Buchanan's beautiful debut, Harmless Like You, will do just that . . will leave your heart hurting.
Combines a wry, sardonic voice with an assured knack for comic set-pieces.
Stylishly written . . . exceptional
Sublime - calm, profound, beautifully controlled and with startling splashes of colour.
Buchanan's prose is visceral, startling and mind-bendingly gorgeous. . . .worth reading for the beauty and originality of the prose, for the questions Buchanan raises about art and heritage, and for the characters who are sometimes as maddening as they can be magnificent.
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan's debut is a beautifully textured novel. . . Yuki's story feels compellingly immediate, as prickly and unpredictable as its protagonist.
A serious, sad and beautifully written debut.
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.
Impressive debut . . . sensitively explores loneliness and the desire to belong against the need for freedom, both personal and artistic.
A well written, unique and engrossing debut novel . . . a great achievement
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.
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.
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan's passionate, gorgeously-written debut novel investigates harmlessness and harm, power and vulnerability, free will and fate.
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.
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan writes with beauty and sensitivity about what it means to be an artist, a parent, and an outsider in a foreign culture.
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