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October 19, 2019 | Rome, Italy

Snakes & Earrings

By | 2018-03-21T18:24:11+02:00 December 1st, 2006|Recent Reviews|

By Hitomi Kanehara, translated from the Japanese by James David Karashima

Vintage, 2005. 118 pages.

What a delicious paper cut! The place is Tokyo, the subject ostensibly tattoos, but in fact we’re in macabre, ironic territory here, Japanese neo-realism with a nihilistic bite. The fun of it all is that high school dropout Kanehara — 21 when she wrote this — is deeply moral at heart. Her 19-year-old protagonist, Lui, is a cold-blooded observer of Tokyo’s body piercing scene, and pierced herself, but that doesn’t keep her from milking a higher purpose from dead boyfriends and 14g studs.

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