Kawade Shobō Shinsha
17 November 2022
160 pages in Japanese
Rights handled by New River:
Foreign rights outside Asia
WEL (Soho Press)
by Jose Ando
A thrilling prize-winning debut from one of Japan’s brightest new novelists
Half Japanese, half somewhere-in-Africa-n. Used to work as a model. Apparently might be gay. Rumours abound about massage therapist Jackson. When someone accidentally scans a QR code on his shirt linking to a violent sexual video involving a black man, no one believes Jackson’s denials about it being him in the video. Investigating himself, Jackson meets three other black men entangled in the situation and they soon realise that people’s inability to differentiate them is something they can turn to their advantage, exacting retribution on those who have wronged them in the past, including whoever is behind the enigmatic video…
With a razor-sharp opening that brings to mind Such a Fun Age, and reaching an explosive finale in a manner reminiscent of I May Destroy You, this is a page-turning exploration of race, digital culture, belonging, and the hostility of societies that are supposed to protect us. Written with bite but also with surprising tenderness, Jackson Alone asks complex questions about how we see ourselves and how we see others, as well as what it really means to get revenge.
About the author
Jose Ando (1994-) was born and raised in Tokyo, and is of African-Asian heritage. His debut novel Jackson Alone was awarded the 59th Bungei Prize and was shortlisted for the 168th Akutagawa Prize.