69 by Ryu Murakami, translated by Ralph F. McCarthy [in Bloomsbury Review]
That’s 1969, when student uprisings shut down Tokyo University, the Beatles put out The White Album, the Rolling Stones released “Honky Tonk Women,” and war raged on in Vietnam. In a Japanese small city high school, 17-year-old Kensuke’s final year is marked with pranks, suspension, boredom, frustration, and first love. From Japan’s bad boy auteur – often referred to as ‘the other Murakami’ – comes a Holden Caulfield-esque coming-of-age novel about growing up on Rimbaud, Claudia Cardinale, imagination, and a few cheap thrills.
Review: “In Celebration of Asian Pacific American Month: A Literary Survey,” The Bloomsbury Review, May/June 2006