Hikikomori and the Rental Sister: A Novel

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Algonquin Books, Jan 8, 2013 - Fiction - 272 pages
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hikikomori, n. h?kik?'mo?ri; literally pulling inward; refers to those who withdraw from society.

Inspired by the real-life Japanese social phenomenon called hikikomori and the professional “rental sisters” hired to help, Hikikomori and the Rental Sister is about an erotic relationship between Thomas, an American hikikomori, and Megumi, a young Japanese immigrant hiding from her own past. The strange, insular world they create together in a New York City bedroom and with the tacit acknowledgment of Thomas’s wife reveals three human hearts in crisis, but leaves us with a profound faith in the human capacity to find beauty and meaning in life, even after great sorrow. Mirroring both East and West in its search for healing, Hikikomori and the Rental Sister pierces the emotional walls of grief and delves into the power of human connection to break through to the world waiting outside.

Named an Indie Next pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, one of Book Riot’s 5 to Watch, and an iBookstore Editor’s Choice in hardcover.

 

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Contents

One
1
Two
9
Three
16
Four
30
Five
36
Six
39
Seven
47
Eight
54
Sixteen
138
Seventeen
142
Eighteen
157
Nineteen
173
Twenty
180
Twentyone
186
Twentytwo
206
Twentythree
217

Nine
65
Ten
70
Eleven
83
Twelve
90
Thirteen
96
Fourteen
108
Fifteen
123
Twentyfour
226
Twentyfive
237
Twentysix
244
acknowledgments
247
Readers Guide
249
Other Algonquin Readers Round Table Novels
259
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Jeff Backhaus has been a cook, an art director, and a professional pilot. He lived and worked in Korea and now lives in New York. Author website: www.jeffbackhaus.com.

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