This Lone Boy Sets Off On A Journey

ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOOR (TALES OF THE OTORI BOOK ONE)

Lian Hearn* (Hodder, 2002) ISBN: 0 7336 1565 1

As a child and teenager, for no discernible reason, I was a total weeabo.  I loved Japan.  I loved Japanese clothing, I loved learning about Japanese language and culture, and I was determined to go to Japan as soon as I could.  I don’t know where this obsession originated.  The obvious contenders are Sailor Moon and Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, a tv series and book respectively, which were likely my first encounters with Japan–even though I believe the latter was written by an American.  I’ve been to Japan twice now, and I’ve also made a conscious effort to ramp down my adoration because I’ve learned that fetishising cultures like that is not a cool or respectful thing to do.  Nonetheless, Across the Nightingale Floor, first in the Tales of the Otori trilogy**, represents a perfect union of three of my great loves–Japanese culture and history (albeit in a fictionalised Japan-like society), fantasy, and beautiful writing.

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