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The Boy and the Dog.jpg

Original title:

少年と犬

 

Original language

Japanese

 

Publication info:

Bungeishunjū
May 2020

312 pages

 

Genre:

Noir mystery

Rights handled by New River

Foreign rights excl. Asia, France

Rights sold:

China (Xiron)

France (Philippe Picquier)

Germany (Hoffmann und Campe)

Italy (Marsilio)

Korea (CHANGSIMSO)

North America (Viking)

The Netherlands (Atlas Contact)

Portugal (Presença)

Romania (Alice Books)

Russia (EKSMO)

Spain (Duomo)

Taiwan (ACME)

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.

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