Author: Genzaburo Yoshino
Forward: Neil Gaiman
Translator: Bruno Navasky
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Released: October 26, 2021
Many people in my generation grew up adoring Hayao Miyazaki’s works. That’s no secret. Now, one of Miyazaki’s favorite childhood books has finally been translated to English – and readers get to experience that for the first time. How Do You Live? was written by Genzaburo Yoshino and translated by Bruno Navasky. Oh! And Neil Gaiman wrote the forward. Nice touch, right?
Copper is a fifteen-year-old boy going through the grieving process after losing his father. This process is never easy, and Copper must come to terms with everything happening in his life – including his own actions.
Copper’s narrative is balanced out by journal entries written by his uncle, a man who openly offers encouragement and advice to young Copper.
“But between the people who produce things over and above what they consume, and send them out into the world, and the people who don’t produce anything and who do nothing but consume, which are the great human beings? Which are the important human beings? If you ask yourself this, it’s not much of a puzzle, is it?”
Having finally read How Do You Live?, I can now see why so many readers found it to be so formative and foundational. It is a brilliant read that I wish had been available to me when I was younger. It would have meant a lot then. It still means a lot now, of course, just in a different way.
There are so many life lessons tucked into these pages… it’s borderline overwhelming. But I mean that in a good way. There’s so much thought and intention that went into this story, it’s impossible to do anything other than appreciate it.
If you’re looking for a poignant and heartfelt read, look no further. How Do You Live? is going to be a read that leaves an impression on your heart; that much is certain.
Thanks to Algonquin Young Readers and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.