Day: November 10, 2020

Book review: 『蹴りたい背中』 by Risa Wataya (綿矢りさ)

Introduction Title: 『蹴りたい背中』 (けりたいせなか)Author: Risa WATAYA (綿矢りさ)Published by 河出文庫183 pages This is Risa Wataya’s second and best known novel who won her the Akutagawa Prize at the age of 19. Review My previous experience with Risa Wataya’s books has not been exciting. I read 『勝手にふるえてろ』in translation but remember not being impressed by it. More recently, I read 『私をくいとめて』 in Japanese and, similarly, did not find it very interesting. Consequently, and even though it won the Akutagawa Prize, I was not expecting to love 『蹴りたい背中』. It was thus a pleasant surprise to discover that it has much more vivacity than the other two books I read, and I enjoyed it enough. What I loved the most in the book is how the two protagonists are true loners who don’t fit in their environment. What they do is weird for the society, but not in the cool way of being eccentric and breaking social conventions, more in a pathetic and helpless sort of way that makes them authentic. I feel like I have read tons of stories where the protagonists …