Rainbirds

Clarissa Goenawan | Math Paper Press | 2018

$22.00

20 in stock

Winner of the Bath Novel Award
Finalist of the Dundee International Book Prize
Shortlisted for the SFWP Literary Award
Shortlisted for the First Novel Prize

Set in an imagined town outside Tokyo, Clarissa Goenawan’s dark, spellbinding literary debut follows a young man’s path to self-discovery in the wake of his sister’s murder.

Ren Ishida has nearly completed his graduate degree at Keio University when he receives news of his sister’s violent death. Keiko was stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, failing to understand why she chose to turn her back on the family and Tokyo for this desolate place years ago.

But then Ren is offered Keiko’s newly vacant teaching position at a prestigious local cram school and her bizarre former arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician’s mansion in exchange for reading to the man’s ailing wife. He accepts both, abandoning Tokyo and his crumbling relationship there in order to better understand his sister’s life and what took place the night of her death.

As Ren comes to know the eccentric local figures, from the enigmatic politician who’s boarding him to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, captivating young female student, he delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren realizes that Keiko Ishida kept many secrets, even from him.

ISBN: 9789811165115

Cover Type: Softcover

Page Count: 309

Year Published: 2018

Language: English

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Winner of the Bath Novel Award
Finalist of the Dundee International Book Prize
Shortlisted for the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Award
Shortlisted for the First Novel Prize

Set in an imagined town outside Tokyo, Clarissa Goenawan’s dark, spellbinding literary debut follows a young man’s path to self-discovery in the wake of his sister’s murder.

Ren Ishida has nearly completed his graduate degree at Keio University when he receives news of his sister’s violent death. Keiko was stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, failing to understand why she chose to turn her back on the family and Tokyo for this desolate place years ago.

But then Ren is offered Keiko’s newly vacant teaching position at a prestigious local cram school and her bizarre former arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician’s mansion in exchange for reading to the man’s ailing wife. He accepts both, abandoning Tokyo and his crumbling relationship there in order to better understand his sister’s life and what took place the night of her death.

As Ren comes to know the eccentric local figures, from the enigmatic politician who’s boarding him to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, captivating young female student, he delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren realizes that Keiko Ishida kept many secrets, even from him.

A Bustle Most Anticipated Book of 2018
amNY, “Must Read Books in 2018”
The Huffington Post, “60 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2018”
BookBub, “25 Debut Novels We Can’t Wait to Read in 2018”
iBooks, “10 Debut Novels You Must Read”

Praise
“Debut author Clarissa Goenawan spins a dark, encapsulating story that will certainly reel you in completely.”
—Bustle

“Mysterious and dark.”
—Daily Beast

“With its dream sequences, chance encounters and leisurely attention to music and food, this debut novel evokes the simple joys of early Haruki Murakami . . . A satisfying heartfelt tale about letting go.”
—amNewYork

”Elegantly [combines] a suspenseful mystery with an eloquent meditation on love and loss.”
—HuffPost

”In a genre-bending novel about family and loss that shifts from a murder mystery to magical realism, Goenawan infuses her postmodern tale with enough complexity, suspense, and emotional connection to make it memorable and haunting.”
Library Journal, Starred Review 

“Dreamlike . . . character-driven focus and introspective tone will attract literary-fiction readers.” 
Booklist

“[A] well-paced mystery . . . Goenawan’s debut balances a finely wrought plot with patient, measured portraits of fragile relationships, making for a spare yet inviting novel that grabs hold and doesn’t let go.”
—Publishers Weekly 

“Goenawan’s debut proves to be a soulful whodunit full of deadpan humor and whimsical narrative unpredictability. A witty, well-constructed debut.”
—Kirkus Reviews 

“Goenawan offers a moving investigation of love, loss, and grief.” 
—Asian Review of Books  

”Luminous, sinister, and page-turning all at once. I loved it.”
—Kate Hamer, internationally bestselling author of The Girl in the Red Coat and The Doll Funeral

“A beautiful mystery setup with a complex, magical love story.”
—Eka Kurniawan, award-winning author of Beauty Is a Wound 

“A beautiful, well-crafted story, Rainbirds is an exploration of grief, love and loss. Clarissa Goenawan has written a powerful debut novel that will leave readers craving more.”
Hollie Overton, internationally bestselling author of Baby Doll 

“Like the imaginary town in Japan in which it takes place, Rainbirds possesses a charm that is at once cloistered, quiet, and mysterious. Carefully crafted and paced, the novel captivates with its reflective, dreamlike tone. A promising debut from Clarissa Goenawan.”
—Dee Lestari, award-winning singer-songwriter and author of the Supernova series

Rainbirds is that rarest of debut novels—confident, transportive, and utterly enthralling. Clarissa Goenawan explores the mysteries of small-town Japan, drawing readers in with understated prose, then ensnaring with a subtle spell, exposing, grain by grain, the secrets behind a young woman’s death.”
—Barry Lancet, award-winning author of Japantown

“A hauntingly moving story of loss and alienation.”
—Jake Arnott, internationally bestselling author of The Long Firm 

Rainbirds is a deeply immersive novel: I lost myself in Goenawan’s masterful rendering of a sleepy Japanese town.”
—Elisa Lodato, author of An Unremarkable Body

“A touching and evocative exploration of grief and love in a fictional Japanese town, Rainbirds is a haunting debut.”
—Susanna Jones, award-winning author of The Earthquake Bird 

ISBN: 9789811165115

Cover Type: Softcover

Page Count: 309

Year Published: 2018

Language: English

Clarissa Goenawan

Clarissa Goenawan is an Indonesian-born Singaporean writer. Her debut novel, Rainbirds, is the winner of the 2015 Bath Novel Award. Her short stories have won several awards and been published in various literary magazines and anthologies, such as The MacGuffin, Your Impossible Voice, Esquire, Monsoon Book, Writing The City, Needle in the Hay,
and many others. She loves rainy days, pretty books, and hot green tea.

Clarissa is represented by Pontas Agency.

Math Paper Press

MATH PAPER PRESS (est. 2005) is the publishing arm of BOOKSACTUALLY that deals with short experimental novellas, poetry and essays. Math Paper Press also distributes books by selected publishers.

BooksActually also hosts a fortnightly public dinner gathering, BABETTE’S FEAST, where writers are encouraged to share and discuss their works. Math Paper Press will spot new talent during these sessions. Each of the newly discovered writers will be published in a tangible book form, in their very own chapbooks.

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