A devilishly intelligent new novel by the internationally
bestselling author and Prix Médicis winner.
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 and engaging in amorous intrigues with rising
pop star Midori and her entourage of vampire girls. For the writer,
though, the title isn''t just a title: he really does believe he is
a Japanese writer. He makes this declaration in a mall, and, the
next thing he knows, he''s an international celebrity. The book
becomes a cult phenomenon, even though he still hasn''t written a
word of it. In Japan, it sets off a cultural revolution. A Japanese
writer even publishes a book called I Am a Malagasy Writer. On the
nightly news, a Japanese officer declares, "I Am a Korean Soldier."
No wonder a pair of attachés from the Japanese embassy has been
following our hero around. At first, he is delighted to discover
his celebrity. But things quickly go wrong. Part postmodern
fantasy, part Kafkaesque nightmare and part travelogue to the inner
reaches of the self, I Am a Japanese
Writer calls into question everything we think we
know about what-and who-makes a work of art.