I Am A Japanese Writer

“I Am A Japanese Writer” by Dany Laferrière (Haiti)

Review

The short chapters and choppy style of writing appealed to readers the most. They enjoyed the theme of identity – national, racial and authorial – which they found thought provoking. They liked the irony and found many passages to be very funny, especially the ones relying on clichés to create the humour. Even though they couldn’t see their relevance to the main storyline, readers agreed that the chapters relating the author’s past memories and experiences were touching. Those who read it in English said that David Homel’s translation was excellent. Besides that, there were mixed reactions to the story, which some readers described as disjointed and confusing at times. They kept hoping for a narrative thread or plot elements but didn’t find any. Instead they found the story inconsistent and one reader felt the author was toying with the reader, making her feel resentful. Overall, it averaged a 7.3 out of 10.

Synopsis

A black writer from Montreal has found the perfect title for his next book: I Am a Japanese Writer. His publisher gives him an advance on the strength of the title alone. The problem is, he can’t seem to write a word of it. He can scarcely summon the energy to put pen to paper, and so he nurses his writer’s block by taking long baths, re-reading the works of Japanese poet Basho… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list

Season 18 (Feb – Jun 2015)
“I Am A Japanese Writer” by Dany Laferrière (Haiti)
“Hour of the Star” by Clarice Lispector (Brazil)
“The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman” by Denis Thériault (Canada) *
“Tiare” by Célestine Hitiura Vaite (Tahiti)
“Apocalypse Next Tuesday” by David Safier (Germany) 

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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