Review of Snakes and Earrings by Hitomi Kanehara
Unlike Ryu Murakami’s transgressive works, this small book lacks polish.
It deals with the immature, shallow concerns of its adolescent characters with stark, unapologetic realism. Edgy in the extreme, but lacking depth of any appreciable kind, it reads quickly and has all of the trappings of a bestselling Japanese alternative pop literary prize winner. It is a shame that the Akutagawa Prize is handed out to such amateurish attention-grabbing authors, which make their way into English, but cannot compete with even the common run of American rebellious teen novels.
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