Home » Room Where the Star-Spangled Banner Cannot Be Heard a Novel in Three Parts by Ian Hideo Levy
Room Where the Star-Spangled Banner Cannot Be Heard a Novel in Three Parts Ian Hideo Levy

Room Where the Star-Spangled Banner Cannot Be Heard a Novel in Three Parts

Ian Hideo Levy

Published
ISBN : 9781283261104
ebook
160 pages
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 About the Book 

A Room Where the Star-Spangled Banner Cannot Be Heard is the highly acclaimed, moving debut of Levy Hideo (also known as Ian Hideo Levy), a white American author living in Japan who writes fiction and nonfiction in Japanese. Set against the politicalMoreA Room Where the Star-Spangled Banner Cannot Be Heard is the highly acclaimed, moving debut of Levy Hideo (also known as Ian Hideo Levy), a white American author living in Japan who writes fiction and nonfiction in Japanese. Set against the political and social upheavals of the 1960s, which include student protests against the Vietnam War and the U.S.-Japan Mutual Cooperation and Security Treaty (AMPO), the novel tells the story of Ben Isaac, a blond-haired, blue-eyed American youth living with his father at the American consulate in Yokohama. Chafing against his fathers strict authority and the cultural trappings of an America that grows more and more remote, Ben flees his home to live with Ando, his Japanese friend. Refusing to speak English with Ben, Ando shows the young American the way to Shinjuku, the epicenter of Japans countercultural movement and the closest Ben has every felt to home.As Ben struggles to understand the full contours of his identity, Levys coming-of-age novel offers an eloquent elegy to a lost time. From the vantage point of a privileged and alienated outsider (gaijin), A Room Where the Star-Spangled Banner Cannot Be Heard beautifully captures a heady, eventful moment in Japanese history. Bens experiences virtually recreate Levys own youth. Wandering the streets of Shinjuku, Ben can barely decipher the signs around him or make sense of the sounds that reach his ears. Eventually, the symbols and sensations take root, disproving the common assumption that foreigners can never really know Japanese language and culture. Through Bens explorations, both he and the author break free from English and the constraints of being a gaijin. Bens character plays a leading role in each of the book parts: A Room Where the Star-Spangled Banner Cannot Be Heard, The End of November, and One of the Guys.