The Island of Bicycle Dancers

A Novel

Jiro Adachi

Picador

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This is the coming-of-age story of twenty-year old Yurika Song, a Korean-Japanese woman who comes from Japan to New York City for a summer to work with her Korean relatives and improve her English. Yurika's friends back home have always joked that she is half-sushi/half kim-chi. But cross-Asian ethnicities turn out to be far less jarring than her entree into New York life in the guise of bicycle messengers and the street culture in which they thrive.
On one level this is a tale of mistaken love--Yurika falls hard for an attractive, but dangerous, Puerto Rican bicycle messenger nicknamed "Bone." But on another, deeper level, our heroine finds freedom in this new language, which to her "is like a huge octopus, very clever and sometimes hard to catch."

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One
Him


She looked for him-the bike messenger with the splendid caramel-colored skin. Other bikers went by, taxis, delivery trucks, buses, but no him. Slowly, she swept cigarette butts, bits of food, and store receipts toward the curb. She glanced down First Avenue again, then swept the trash into the street where it landed on top of a pigeon wing. Where was the rest of the bird? No bird, no blood, just dirty feathers and some broken bone curled against the concrete. Back home in Japan there were no dead animals or animal parts lying around.

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Reviews

Praise for The Island of Bicycle Dancers

"I was dazzled.... One of the most exciting new voices I have read."--Amy Tan

"A first novel that shows both daring and skill...Richly and gracefully drawn characters and keen ear for street language show Adachi's great promise."--Booklist

"A classic immigrant's saga of newcomers taking up the American Dream that has been rejected by natives.... Raw."--Kirkus Reviews

"[An] energetic debut...portrays badass messengers and Yurika's linguistic struggles with equal facility."--Publishers Weekly

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About the Author

Jiro Adachi

Born and raised in New York City to a Japanese father and Hungarian mother, Jiro Adachi earned his B.A. from Columbia University and a M.F.A. from Colorado State University. He lives with his wife and daughter in New York City, where he teaches writing at The New School University.

Jiro Adachi

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Island of Bicycle Dancers
A Novel
Jiro Adachi

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
February 2005
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312312466
ISBN10: 0312312466
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages
$17.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
February 2005
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429932264
ISBN10: 1429932260
224 pages
$7.99
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From The Publisher

Picador

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