The Resource Rainbirds, Clarissa Goenawan

Rainbirds, Clarissa Goenawan

Label
Rainbirds
Title
Rainbirds
Statement of responsibility
Clarissa Goenawan
Title variation
Rain birds
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Clarissa Goenawan's dark, spellbinding literary debut opens with a murder and shines a spotlight onto life in fictional small-town Japan. Ren Ishida is nearly finished with graduate school when he receives news of his sister, Keiko's, sudden death. She was viciously stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister's affairs, still failing to understand why she chose to abandon the family and Tokyo for this desolate town years ago. But Ren soon finds himself picking up where Keiko left off, accepting both her teaching position at a local cram school and the bizarre arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician's mansion in exchange for reading to the man's catatonic wife. As he comes to know the figures in Akakawa, from the enigmatic politician to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, alluring student named Rio, Ren delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed, trying to piece together what happened the night of her death. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren struggles to find solace in the void his sister has left behind"--
Storyline
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Nearly finished with his graduate degree in English, Ren Ishida leaves Tokyo to retrieve his late sister’s belongings from the small Japanese town where she had been teaching at a cram school. He is soon offered a job teaching her classes and the same rooming arrangement, where he could live in a wealthy man’s house rent-free in exchange for reading to the owner’s mute wife. At work, Ren becomes the object of a student’s infatuation, a student who may hold the key to Ren’s sister’s death. Ren operates in a fog, moving between memories of his sister’s struggle to protect him from their parents’ constant fighting and neglect to the six-day work week that consumes nearly all of his time. Although it is his sister’s seemingly random murder that initiates the action, this dreamlike novel is not a conventional murder mystery; its character-driven focus and introspective tone will attract literary-fiction readers. -- Keefe, Karen (Reviewed 1/1/2018) (Booklist, vol 114, number 9, p48)
  • Goenawan’s well-paced mystery follows ruminative Japanese graduate student Ren Ishida as he returns to the town where his sister was murdered. When Keiko Ishida was found dead in the small town Akakawa, she had sustained stab wounds, had tie marks on her wrists, and was lying alongside a bloody kitchen knife—but nothing was missing from her purse and there’s no known motive. She was also carrying a pack of birth control pills, though she’d been tight-lipped about her romantic life and never mentioned a boyfriend. Ren plans to stay just long enough to collect his sister’s belongings, but is drawn into the town’s morass when he temporarily takes over his sister’s old teaching post at a cram school and agrees to fill her room in a politician’s graveyard-quiet mansion (where he reads Rushdie to the politician’s silent wife, Ms. Katou, in exchange for lodging). As Ren becomes invested in Ms. Katou’s (and other townspeople’s) backstories, he’s also drawn into a beguiling friendship with one of his students—whom he nicknames “Seven Stars” for the brand of cigarettes she smokes—which gets increasingly thorny as he realizes she may be connected to his sister’s troubled past. Goenawan’s debut balances a finely wrought plot with patient, measured portraits of fragile relationships, making for a spare yet inviting novel that grabs hold and doesn’t let go. (Mar.) --Staff (Reviewed 01/29/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 5, p)
  • When a Japanese graduate student's sister is violently murdered in a small town in rural Japan, he abandons his life and steps into her shoes to come to terms with her death. Ren Ishida has always admired his sister, Keiko, from afar. He grew up obsessing over her love life despite never having much of his own. He pursued the same major as her at university—a study of British and American literature—with ambitions of becoming a teacher, just like her. But when Keiko is stabbed to death on the street in the small town she calls home, Ren is so guilt-ridden and grief-stricken that he travels to her town under the pretense of obtaining her ashes and finalizing her affairs but ends up moving into her home and replacing her as an English teacher at the local high school. Over the course of Ren's spiritual reconnection with his sister, he unwittingly uncovers the mystery behind her murder and unearths shocking family secrets in the process. Goenawan's debut proves to be a slow, soulful whodunit full of deadpan humor and whimsical narrative unpredictability in an attempt at a Murakami-esque aesthetic. Ren's barren, unreliable narration can be as hilarious as it is sad, and an interesting cast of characters—a girl in his class nicknamed Seven Stars, with whom he forms a taboo romantic entanglement that torments him; his friend and fellow teacher, Honda—gives the novel a voice and world of its own. Goenawan unfortunately struggles with transitions between present action and flashback, and the novel falls victim to plot holes and linguistic clichés (an underage Seven Stars to Ren, while wearing her schoolgirl uniform: "Didn't you say age was only a number?"). A witty, well-constructed debut that manages to overcome moments of cliché. (Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2018)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10625446
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1988-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Goenawan, Clarissa
Dewey number
823/.92
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Sisters
  • Murder
  • FICTION / Psychological
  • FICTION / Crime
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Murder
  • Sisters
  • Japan
  • Japan
Label
Rainbirds, Clarissa Goenawan
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1914649
Extent
1 volume
Isbn
9781616958558
Lccn
2017055165
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781616958558
  • (OCoLC)990105598
Label
Rainbirds, Clarissa Goenawan
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1914649
Extent
1 volume
Isbn
9781616958558
Lccn
2017055165
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781616958558
  • (OCoLC)990105598

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Milwood BranchBorrow it
      12500 Amherst Dr, Austin, TX, 78727, US
      30.4223444 -97.7161692
    • North Village BranchBorrow it
      2505 Steck Ave, Austin, TX, 78757, US
      30.362144 -97.7305032
    • Old Quarry BranchBorrow it
      7051 Village Center Dr., Austin, TX, 78731, US
      30.3529975 -97.7551561
    • Southeast BranchBorrow it
      5803 Nuckols Crossing Rd., Austin, TX, 78744, US
      30.1876256 -97.7419319
    • University Hills BranchBorrow it
      4701 Loyola Ln., Austin, TX, 78723, US
      30.3093017 -97.6664785
    • Yarborough BranchBorrow it
      2200 Hancock Dr., Austin, TX, 78756, US
      30.3234684 -97.74072129999999
Processing Feedback ...