Author: Clarissa N. Goenawan

Clarissa Goenawan’s dark, spellbinding literary debut opens with a murder and shines a spotlight onto life in fictional small-town Japan.

Ren Ishida is nearly finished with graduate school when he receives news of his sister, Keiko’s, sudden death. She was viciously stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, still failing to understand why she chose to abandon the family and Tokyo for this desolate town years ago.

But Ren soon finds himself picking up where Keiko left off, accepting both her teaching position at a local cram school and the bizarre arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician’s mansion in exchange for reading to the man’s catatonic wife.

As he comes to know the figures in Akakawa, from the enigmatic politician to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, alluring student named Rio, Ren delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed, trying to piece together what happened the night of her death. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren struggles to find solace in the void his sister has left behind.

Original language

ENGLISH (World) | Soho Press
ENGLISH (Singapore) | Math Paper Press
ENGLISH (Audio) | Highbridge

Translation rights

CHINESE (Simplified) | Beijing White Horse Time
FRENCH | Les Escales
HEBREW | Tamir/Sendik Books
GERMAN | Thiele Verlag
POLISH | Prószyński Media
SPANISH | AdN/Alianza
TURKISH | Hep Kitap

  • Winner of the 2015 Bath Novel Award (UK)
  • Finalist of the 2015 Dundee International Book Prize (UK)
  • Shortlisted for the 2015 SFWP Literary Award (US)
  • Shortlisted for the First Novel Prize 2016 (UK)

Other books by the same author


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Rainbirds”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *