Poet and novelist Hiromi Goto effortlessly blends wry, observational slice-of-life literary fiction with poetic magical realism in the tender and surprising graphic novelShadow Life, with haunting art from debut artist Ann Xu.
When Kumiko’s well-meaning adult daughters place her in an assisted living home, the seventy-six-year-old widow gives it a try, but it’s not where she wants to be. She goes on the lam and finds a cozy bachelor apartment, keeping the location secret even while communicating online with her eldest daughter. Kumiko revels in the small, daily pleasures: decorating as she pleases, eating what she wants, and swimming in the community pool. But something has followed her from her former residence—Death’s shadow.
Kumiko’s sweet life is shattered when Death’s shadow swoops in to collect her. With her quick mind and sense of humor, Kumiko, with the help of friends new and old, is prepared for the fight of her life. But how long can an old woman thwart fate?
About the authors
Hiromi Goto is the award-winning author of many books for youth and adults. Her adult novel, Chorus of Mushrooms (1994) was the recipient of the regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book as well as co-winner of the Canada-Japan Book Award. Her second adult novel, The Kappa Child, was awarded the James Tiptree Jr. Award. Hopeful Monsters was her first collection of short stories and in 2009, she co-wrote, with David Bateman, her first book of poetry, Wait Until Late Afternoon. More recently her YA novel, Half World, was winner of the 2010 Sunburst Award and the Carl Brandon Parallax Award and was longlisted for the IMPAC-Dublin Literary Award. Her latest YA publication is Darkest Light. Hiromi is also a mentro at Simon Fraser University's The Writer's Studio, an editor, and monther of two grown children. She is at work on graphic novels and short stories.
In honour of its 20th anniversary, NeWest Press released a special edition of her seminal Chorus of Mushrooms in Spring 2014.
"Sprinkled with fabulism (a vacuum and salt can stop death), confronting racist history (Canada’s WWII prison camps for Japanese Canadians), and questioning institutionalized eldercare, Goto’s latest is an empowering, emotional tribute to defiant, independent, kick-ass old women living their best lives."—Booklist,starred review
"The loose black-and-white line art by Xu, including interspersed wordless panels, perfectly captures the progression of Kumiko’s emotions from serenity to revelation to distress to determined defiance, as well as the narrative’s fantastical and surreal turns. Quiet sensitivity and humor shine throughout, lighting the bright triumph in one woman’s twilight."—Publishers Weekly,starred review