book cover of Mongrel
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A novel by

Mei loses her Japanese mother at age six. Growing up in suburban Surrey, she yearns to fit in, suppressing both her heritage and her growing love for her best friend Fran.

Yuki leaves the Japanese countryside to pursue her dream of becoming a concert violinist in London. Lonely and far from home, she finds herself caught up in the charms of her older teacher.

Haruka attempts to navigate Tokyo’s nightlife and all of its many vices, working as a hostess in seedy bars. She grieves a mother who hid so many secrets from her, until finally one of those secrets comes to light . . .

Shifting between three intertwining narratives, Mongrel reveals a tangled web of isolation, desire, love, and ultimately, hope.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"A beautiful, haunting debut. Hanako Footman's writing is sensuous and evocative. Her characters are vividly sketched and complex. This book will stay with you." - Nell Hudson

"A sublime and deeply moving mediation on belonging and home, Mongrel resonates with poetic clarity, offering in each line searing and yet familiar truths. Read it now. This compulsive, engrossing, and gorgeous debut will utterly consume you." - Stephanie Scott

"Sensational books transcend the very form they elevate by delivering a purity of thought with seeming effortlessness and here, in Mongrel, Hanako Footman conveys the truth of the world in lucid but spinning, transcendental sentences. It's so beautiful that I became lost in it, and I can't find the right words because they are all in this book. Simply, it must be read." - Lisa Taddeo

"Heart-shatteringly visceral and precise, Mongrel gives voice to generations of women living on the margins. An urgent story of sexual politics, identity and knowledge but ultimately a triumphant tribute to the self." - Wiz Wharton

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