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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Island of Bicycle Dancers

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."

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

She looked for him—the bike messenger...

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


Reviews from Goodreads

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.

St. Martin's Press

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