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UK & Comm ex Can (Scribner)
The Boy and the Dog
by Seishu Hase
Winner of the 163rd (2020) Naoki Prize
Six months after the 2011 tsunami a young man finds a stray German shepherd mix, and takes it home. The dog becomes the companion for him and his mother, who suffers from dementia, before the young man is killed in an accident. A thief is the next owner, followed by a young couple, a prostitute, an old hunter, and finally a young boy – the person the dog has been seeking all along. Six interrelated stories, each set in a different prefecture and depicting the life of each owner, track the progress of the dog on its journey from Japan's tsunami-ravaged north to its earthquake-ravaged south.
Each owner notes the dog’s intelligence and the desire to go south. Where is it going and who is it looking for are the mysteries driving the narrative. As details of the dog’s origins emerge, it becomes apparent that the humans whose lives it enters, are struggling and in need of company and comfort at crucial times. In this gripping novel, Seishu Hase combines his skills as a noir writer with a love for dogs, to create a gritty and moving portrayal of damaged lives and the semi-mythical relationship between humankind and dogs.
About the author
Seishu Hase was born in Hokkaido in 1965 and made his debut with All Night City in 1996, which was nominated for the Naoki Prize and adapted into a film. The book sealed his reputation as a noir writer. In 1998 he won the Mystery Writers Of Japan Award with Requiem. He was nominated six times for the Naoki Prize, and finally succeeded with The Boy and the Dog.