Jiro Adachi

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Born and raised in New York City to a Japanese father and Hungarian mother, Jiro Adachi earned his Master of Fine Arts in fiction at Colorado State University and his BA from Columbia University. His novel, The Island of Bicycle Dancers, was published by St. Martin's in 2004. To create the novel's portrait of bicycle messengers and immigrants in New York city, Adachi used his experiences as a bicycle messenger and as a teacher of English as a Second Language. He is a member of the faculty at The New School and has taught writing and English as a Second Language at Colorado State University, Hunter College, and Stern College for Women.

Books

The Island of Bicycle Dancers is the coming-of-age-story of twenty-year-old Yurika Song, a Korean-Japanese woman who comes from Japan to New York City for a summer to work with her Korean relatives and improve her English. Yurika's friends back home have always joked that she is half-sushi/half-kim-chi. But cross-Asian ethnicities turn out to be far less jarring than her introduction to New York life, the world of bicycle messengers and the street culture in which they thrive.

On one level this is a splendid tale of mistaken love-Yurika falls hard for an attractive, but dangerous, Puerto Rican bicycle messenger nicknamed "Bone." But on another, deeper level, our heroine finds freedom in this new language, which to her "is like a huge octopus, very clever and sometimes hard to catch but with so many wild and beautiful writhing limbs."