Harmless Like You
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
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
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 * 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 * A well written, unique and engrossing debut novel . . . a great achievement * The Bookbag ***** * A serious, sad and beautifully written debut. * South China Morning Post * 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 * 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 * Stylishly written . . . exceptional * Literary Review * Combines a wry, sardonic voice with an assured knack for comic set-pieces. * TLS * 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 * Harmless Like You is a refreshing, bold book about understatement. * Sunday Telegraph * 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 * This beautiful novel explores creativity and the complicated relationships between parents and children. * Psychologies * Lyrical and endearing * New York Times Book Review * 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 * 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 *
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