Author: Clarissa Goenawan

A mesmerising novel set in Japan, by the author of Rainbirds and The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida, about a young man trying to escape his past.

When Shouji Arai crosses one of his company’s most powerful clients, he must leave Akakawa immediately or risk his life. But his girlfriend Youko is nowhere to be found.

Haunted by dreams of drowning and the words of a fortune teller who warned him away from three women with water in their names, he travels to Tokyo, where he tries in vain to track Youko down. But Shouji soon realises that not everything Youko told him about herself was true. Who is the real woman he once lived with and loved, and where could she be hiding?

Watersong is a spellbinding novel of loves lost and recovered, of secrets never spoken, and of how our pasts shape our futures.

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Original Language

ENGLISH (World) |  Scribe Publishing
ENGLISH (Audio) | Highbridge Audio

Translation Rights

ITALIAN | Carbonio Editore


"Goenawan sustains a fast pace all the way to a shocking and satisfying conclusion. This author continues to impress." Publishers Weekly

"Watersong transports the reader to worlds both familiar and unknown. Clarissa Goenawan's crisp narration and vivid characters made this novel feel like a lingering dream. This is an intriguing and soul-stirring story about how we reconcile with our pasts." Balli Kaur Jaswal, author of Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

"Luminous prose, emotional insights, and subtle, meticulous attention to small details contribute to this rich, exciting, and sympathetic story. (...) Watersong is a haunting, complex novel about the power of hidden secrets to shape the future." Foreword, starred review

"Haunting, dreamy, and deeply atmospheric, Watersong is a jewel box of a novel, spilling forth with stories within stories, each a perfect, gleaming tribute to lost love, past secrets, and the enduring quest for human connection amidst it all." Kristen Chen, author of Soy Sauce for Beginners

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