I am a Japanese Writer: A Novel

Paperback | July 30, 2010

byDany LaferriereTranslated byDavid Homel

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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.

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From the Publisher

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 scarc...

Journalist, TV and radio host, screenwriter, director and spokesperson for World Book and Copyright Day, Dany Laferrière worked as a journalist in his native Haiti during the notorious Duvalier regime, immigrating to Canada in 1978 after a colleague with whom he was collaborating on a story was murdered. He settled in Montreal, where h...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 8 × 5 × 0.55 inPublished:July 30, 2010Publisher:Douglas And McIntyre (2013) Ltd.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1553655834

ISBN - 13:9781553655831

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Minimalistic, yet effective Hilariously self-deprecating and astoundingly self-aware, this novel really raises the question of what role our ethnicity and nationality play in the formation of our individual identities. Though this is definitely not a book that will be appreciated by everyone, to those who 'get it' this novel will become a veritable gem on their bookshelves.
Date published: 2010-10-10

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Editorial Reviews

“Vonnegut once called him the ‘fastest titler in America,’ yet Dany Laferrière is even more than that. Funny, direct and true, Lafferière is among the most living of this continent’s living writers.”—Sheila Heti, author of Ticknor