OVERRIDE

The Island of Bicycle Dancers

A Novel

Jiro Adachi

St. Martin's Press

Love, sex, death....and English as a foreign language.

The Island of Bicycle Dancers 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 introduction to New York life, the world of bicycle messengers and the street culture in which they thrive.

On one level this is a splendid 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 but with so many wild and beautiful writhing limbs."

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Excerpt from The Island of Bicycle Dancers by Jiro Adachi. Copyright © 2004 by Jiro Adachi. Published by St. Martin's Press. All rights reserved.


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
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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's first language was not exactly broken English-more like malleable English. Mr. Adachi drew on both his experiences as a bike messenger and a teacher of English as a Foreign Language for this novel's portrait of bike boys and immigrants in New York. He lives with his wife and daughter in New York City.
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The Island of Bicycle Dancers

A Novel

Jiro Adachi

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St. Martin's Press

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