Award-Winning Film Auteur and Actor's Successful Foray Into Literature

BOY by "Beat" Takeshi Kitano, A Staggering Work of Heartbreak

New York, New York - August 14, 2007 - Internationally renowned film auteur "Beat" Takeshi Kitano has been revered the world over for his challenging portrayals of men and manhood, most notably rogue ones (Fireworks, Brother, Zatoichi). In BOY, Kitano has magnified this unique talent at narrative through the prism of childhood, providing a rich fugue of memory and nostalgia.

BOY by "Beat" Takeshi Kitano
$17.95/$22.00 HC,

While his films have been compared with and introduced to the American public by Quentin Tarantino and the like, Takeshi Kitano's work in literary short fiction bears more the unique redemptive narrative markings of Roald Dahl along with the tragicomic stylings of Todd Solondz (Welcome To The Doll House, Palindromes).

BOY is also one of the rare examples of Kitano's work outside of the feature film and film criticism genres – a work he calls one of the most difficult artistic undertakings of his career, an accomplishment he says he will not try to repeat precisely because it was so arduous.

The stories range from the touching to the tragic, beginning with "The Champion in a Padded Kimono," which is told by a middle-aged man making mundane small talk with his brother about golfing. Reminiscences lead him to one particular memory of the two racing at an elementary school athletic meet. The odds-on favorite for the relay would be the jock, but a figurative and literal twist in the route gives the bookish older brother a chance to disprove his seeming indifference to the competition. Looking back, they are arrested with memories of their first bitter taste in disappointment and deferred ambition.

In "Nest of Stars," a mother takes her two young boys to Osaka after their father dies. The kids are having a hard time fitting in at their respective new elementary and junior high schools and become ensconced in a world of star-gazing – a hobby that is also the last vestige of the little time they had with their beloved father. What was a treasured memory, however, becomes a source of ridicule, as the younger boy, Toshio, encounters his first local bullies who taunt him for looking at stars through a cheap telescope. As long as he has his brother, who seems to be faring much better at the new junior high, and their nest of stars - the make-shift planetarium they created out of their bedroom ceiling - Toshio is convinced everything will be fine. But when their mother introduces her new man friend and Toshio finds Hideo being bullied even harder than himself, the nest of stars takes on renewed significance as the boys decide to find their way closer to the real constellations and farther from their diorama.

The last story, "Okamesan," is about Ichiro – a loner high school student and member of The History Club. On his first ad hoc field study, Ichiro goes to Kyoto, looking to satisfy his appetite for knowledge of ancient buildings and to take a look at one of the nation’s oldest temple bells. His Carmen Santiago plans are abruptly altered, however, when he ends up at a ramshackle inn run by a rusty middle-aged woman and meets a local hood-rat named Jun, whose no-good boyfriend, Minoru, takes him for all his money on a long joy-ride. While this depletes him of his necessary funds to make it through his original Kyoto tour and eventually back to Tokyo, Ichiro also realizes what’s been going on around him while he was looking up historical artifacts.