Photo Credit: Masahiko Taniguchi
24 October 2013 ~ For Immediate Release
Exhibit A Signs Yumeaki Hirayama
Exhibit A Books are proud to announce our latest acquisition, World English Rights for Yumeaki Hirayama’s Diner!
Exhibit A’s Editor Emlyn Rees bought Diner from Michael Staley, The Staley Agency – Tokyo, and here’s why Diner has joined the Exhibit A stable:
Emlyn: “Diner is a perfect blend of Tarantino and Stephen King and we’re delighted to be able to introduce this prize-winning Japanese author to British and American crime fiction fans.”
Bored with her clerical job, Edie Otgurl, a thirty-year-old divorcée, responds to an online ad: “Driver. Pay 300,000 yen. Entails some risk.”
Hired to be the driver of the getaway car in a cash heist, she gets nabbed by a gang of men and is about to be buried alive when an unidentified benefactor pays for her deliverance.
She is taken to a diner named Canteen, a members-only eatery for hit men. Bombero, the proprietor, is a former hit man turned master chef; Edie is to work as his waitress under the condition that if she disobeys him she will be killed on the spot.
Can Edie survive the deadly clientele and escape this nightmare world?
“I am just elated that my novel is going to be published by Angry Robot. As an avid reader of Stephen King, Joe R. Landsdale, Richard Matheson, and Thomas Harris, I find it exciting beyond my dreams to now have the chance to be read by people in a market as far-reaching as theirs. And at the same time, I look forward to seeing how I will be received in America and Britain, even if the thought of it makes me tense.
DINER is a story about a life-weary young woman of the sort you can find almost anywhere, who goes through an unimaginably traumatic and frightening experience after accepting a dubious offer to earn a little cash. Before her eyes unfolds event after horrifying event the likes of which you see only on TV or in the movies; and with each change of scene, she is thrown into confusion, tossed about and made a mockery of, until finally she is forced to come to terms with her weaknesses. Within the novel I have reflected to no small extent my research on FBI profiling, for which I visited the Marine Corps Base Quantico and interviewed Robert K. Ressler. And as far as the flavor of the novel goes, I would say it has the taste of a Tarantino film (and I must admit, I am a huge fan of Tarantino).
But DINER isn’t just entertainment. In the course of the story, the protagonist actually grows and transforms. It isn’t a sentimental novel in which I write about love or anything like that (at least in a direct way), but with its underlying theme of the importance of living, I’m certain it will satisfy. A novel that is tough and violent, and yet tells something very important—that is what I strove to write.
Finally, for the record, I have no interest in seeing DINER characterized as a novel written by a Japanese, or as Japanese fiction. Readers needn’t have any knowledge or interest in Japan in order to enjoy it. In fact, the people I most want to read DINER are those who care nothing for Japan. Nothing would make me happier than for them to be so turned on by it that they end up reading it in one sitting.”
Michael Staley: “I am thrilled that Emlyn Rees and his team at Exhibit A went for DINER. It will be a perfect fit for their new line of exciting crime thrillers. I understand this will be their first published work of translated fiction, and that in itself is cause for celebration, given the dearth of novels published in the US and UK that come from other languages. The fact that they have chosen to venture into this unknown terrain with a novel like DINER is a testament to their good sense. I look forward to working with them.”
Exhibit A will publish Diner in June 2014 simultaneously in the UK and US in paperback and eBook.
Yumeaki Hirayama is the author of 10 novels and short-story collections. In 2006 he won the Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Short Stories. In 2009 he won the Japan Adventure Fiction Association Prize for Diner; this title also earned him the prestigious Oyabu Haruhiko Prize in 2011 for hardboiled crime fiction.