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About the Author
"Rin Usami writes as if under a spell--not evil, but a kind of magic. I can't wait to read her next work, to see how the spell evolves. New writers should never feel they are boxed in. they should continually stretch and redefine the boundaries of the novel. [Idol, Burning] is the right kind of magic." -- Sayaka Murata, author of Convenience Store Woman and Earthlings
"A voice crying out in darkness - captures the loneliness, the fervor and the all-consuming escapism of idol fan culture and how it provides comfort and fuel for youth struggling in every other part of their daily lives. Absolutely riveting." -- Frances Cha, author of If I Had Your Face
"Haunting and sincere, Idol, Burning subverts and astonishes. Rin Usami balances humor, obsession, heartbreak, and sacrifice in her English debut, crafting a story that's both enveloping and expansive. Usami's writing is thrilling and deft, and her novel illuminates the shadows cloaking our digital lives, leaving us with honesty and grace in equal measures. Idol, Burning is a barnburner and a prayer and a testament to the lengths that we'll go to reach for our dreams." -- Bryan Washington, award-winning author of Memorial and Lot
"A poignant exploration of fandom culture and escapism. Idol, Burning offers a compelling and thoughtful window into obsession, loneliness, and reasons to live. I stan." -- Emily Austin, author of Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead
"Akari's obsession is fatalistic and intense, and Usami's prose (translated by Asa Yoneda) renders it and the hold it has on her tenuous life ably and affectingly. . . . it will especially resonate with readers familiar with real-life superfandoms such as One Direction's at the height of its fame, down to details such as sought-after exclusive merch and hateful online comments sections. A short, engrossing novel that captures the essence of obsessive fandom."
-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"What's impressive about this novel is the author's ability to empathize with Akari's all-consuming love for Masaki while showing just how damaging this relationship is to Akari and everyone around her. The book left me heartbroken yet hopeful, and excited for more Usami novels to come." -- NPR.org
"An intimate perspective into the isolating effects of idolizing a celebrity." -- Booklist
"With unflinching clarity, Usami expertly transforms Akari's devotion into debilitating disconnection...A poignant, disturbing international bestseller from Japan exposes teenage detachment and isolation in the frenetic world of obsessive fandom." -- Shelf Awareness
"Usami (Kaka) delivers a gut-wrenching tale of obsession and social media. . . . Usami's unflinching depiction of a deeply alienated young woman makes for powerful commentary on the toxicity of social media and fan culture. This short novel packs a punch."
-- Publishers Weekly