Harmless Like You
Written in startlingly beautiful prose, Harmless Like You is set across New York, Connecticut, and Berlin. At its heart is Yuki Oyama, a Japanese girl fighting to make it as an artist, and her struggle with her decision to leave her two-year-old son, Jay. As an adult, Jay sets out to find his mother and confront her abandonment.
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About the Author
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is an American and British writer. She received her BA from Columbia and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her first novel, Harmless Like You, was a New York Times Editors' Choice and NPR Great Read. She is the editor of the Go Home! anthology, and her work has appeared in Granta, Guernica, the Guardian, and the Paris Review.
Buchanan writes with beauty and sensitivity about what it means to be an artist, a parent, and an outsider in a foreign culture.
[T]here are so many mature notions of patience, sacrifice, and terrible sadness that it's startling to realize how young the author of the book is.
This elegant and moving novel burns slowly, building in intensity as it develops to explore the subjects of identity, alienation and desire.
[Buchanan] find[s] ways of depicting difference, painting characters from numerous races and cultures.... Her ways of infusing a character's culture have more to do with habits and perspective than with pigeonholes, making this the rare debut that does not smack of received knowledge.
A relentlessly honest book, capturing some of the ugliest and under-represented facets of life, in rich, elegant prose.
Harmless Like You is a beautifully written, many-layered novel that, at its core, tells the personal story of a mother and a son--a struggling artist and the child she left behind in pursuit of that art.
Harmless Like You is a refreshing, bold book about understatement.