Join Clarissa Goenawan online with Avid Reader to discuss her latest book The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida — a bewitching novel set in contemporary Japan about the mysterious suicide of a young woman.
Clarissa Goenawan is an Indonesian-born Singaporean writer. Her debut novel Rainbirds won the 2015 Bath Novel Award and was shortlisted for three further prizes. Her short stories have won several awards and been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida is her second novel.
‘[A] a complex, interpersonal mystery … [A] tremendous examination of sadness … [A] book with heart about the mysteries of the heart.’
BENJAMIN WELTON, NEW YORK JOURNAL OF BOOKS
‘If her debut novel brings Murakami to mind, her second, with its winsome tone, harkens to early Banana Yoshimoto. However, with her blend of mystery, magic and social issues — in this case, sexual abuse, transgender awareness and suicide — Goenawan is developing her own distinct brand.’
SUZANNE KAMATA, THE JAPAN TIMES
‘Tender and tragic … Goenawan’s luminous prose captures the deep emotions of her characters as they grapple with questions about family history, gender, and sexuality. The tug of Miwako’s strange, troubled spirit will wrench readers from the beginning.’
‘A compelling protagonist ... Like Japanese brush painting, the author’s simple, clear prose captures Miwako’s vulnerability and complexity. Also vividly drawn are Fumi and Chie, each having built their own unusual protective personas that are gradually revealed. An eerie and elegant puzzle.’