If You Follow Me: A Novel

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9780061732850: If You Follow Me: A Novel

“I love, love, love If You Follow Me. It’s fearlessly honest, occasionally heartbreaking, and extremely funny, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.” — Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Prep and American Wife

“Graceful, smart, and filled with wonder, If You Follow Me is a heartfelt delight from beginning to end.” — Michelle Richmond, bestselling author of The Year of Fog

Beautifully wrought and deftly written, If You Follow Me is the stunning debut novel from author Malena Watrous. It tells the story of Marina, who moves to Japan to teach English shortly after her father’s tragic suicide, and finds unexpected solace with her Japanese supervisor and seemingly indifferent neighbors. Fans of the works of Curtis Sittenfeld, Diana Spechler, and Min Jin Lee, as well as those interested in Japanese culture, will love If You Follow Me.

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From the Back Cover:

Hoping to outpace her grief in the wake of her father's suicide, Marina has come to the small, rural Japanese town of Shika to teach English for a year. But in Japan, as she soon discovers, you can never really throw away your past . . . or anything else, for that matter.

If You Follow Me is at once a fish-out-of-water tale, a dark comedy of manners, and a strange kind of love story. Alive with vibrant and unforgettable characters—from an ambitious town matchmaker to a high school student-cum-rap artist wannabe with an addiction to self-tanning lotion—it guides readers over cultural bridges even as it celebrates the awkward, unlikely triumph of the human spirit.

About the Author:

Malena Watrous's short fiction has appeared in Story Quarterly, Glimmer Train, Triquarterly, The Massachusetts Review, and Kyoto Journal. The winner of the Michener-Copernicus Award, she lives in San Francisco.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. And so begins If You Follow Me and Marina s lessons in gomi (garbage) law, Japanese culture, and the workings of Shika, the small, rural Japanese town in which she is teaching English for one year. For recent college grad Marina, Shika becomes more than just her home as a temporary person . It s also an attempt to escape the bleak reality that has followed her every day since her father committed suicide only a year earlier. But as Marina comes to realise, in Japan, you can never really throw away your past. For a young woman who has fled to another country to try and outpace her grief, this comes to have a profound meaning. Part coming-of-age, part fish-out-of-water story, If You Follow Me is seeped in the tension of being the outsider in an intimate community and the joy in finding that human nature is the same everywhere. Marina is a big city girl in a small town filled with off-beat characters including an ambitious town matchmaker, a dentist looking for free English lessons, a high school student imitating Western rap artists with his own afro and addiction to self-tanning lotion, and finally Marina s America-obsessed supervisor, Hiro, a town leader whose connection with Marina teaches her more than she ever expected. In keeping with the Japanese tradition of honoring the seasons in art and writing, If You Follow Me is split into four sections: Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Through each season, debut author Malena Watrous gorgeous writing is on display as she guides readers over the cultural bridges her exquisitely drawn characters must cross to understand each other. If You Follow Me is a dark comedy of manners and ultimately a strange kind of love story that marks the beginning of a wonderful new career. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780061732850

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