The Love We Share Without Knowing by Christopher Barzak

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In this haunting, richly woven novel of modern life in Japan, the author of the acclaimed debut One for Sorrow explores the ties that bind humanity across the deepest divides. Here is a Murakamiesque jewel box of intertwined narratives in which the lives of several strangers are gently linked through love, loss, and fate.

On a train filled with quietly sleeping passengers, a young man’s life is forever altered when he is miraculously seen by a blind man. In a quiet town an American teacher who has lost her Japanese lover to death begins to lose her own self. On a remote road amid fallow rice fields, four young friends carefully take their own lives—and in that moment they become almost as one. In a small village a disaffected American teenager stranded in a strange land discovers compassion after an encounter with an enigmatic red fox, and in Tokyo a girl named Love learns the deepest lessons about its true meaning from a coma patient lost in dreams of an affair gone wrong.

From the neon colors of Tokyo, with its game centers and karaoke bars, to the bamboo groves and hidden shrines of the countryside, these souls and others mingle, revealing a profound tale of connection—uncovering the love we share without knowing.

Exquisitely perceptive and deeply affecting, Barzak’s artful storytelling deftly illuminates the inner lives of those attempting to find—or lose—themselves in an often incomprehensible world.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Christopher Barzak

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After two years as an English teacher in Japan, Christopher Barzak returned to his home state of Ohio, where he teaches writing at Youngstown State University. His stories have appeared in the anthologies Trampoline, The Coyote Road, Salon Fantastique, Interfictions, and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, as well as in the publications Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Realms of Fantasy, and Nerve, among others. He is also the author of One for Sorrow, his debut novel.
Published November 24, 2008 by Bantam. 306 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Love We Share Without Knowing

Publishers Weekly

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Barzak's accomplished novel-in-stories dwells on people dealing with life's sorrows through somewhat tenuous connections.

Sep 22 2008 | Read Full Review of The Love We Share Without Kno...

Suite 101

Often confused with fantasy literature, magical realism has its own defining characteristics that sets it apart as a separate and popular genre.

Feb 07 2010 | Read Full Review of The Love We Share Without Kno...

SF Site

The fox-girl (another resonant figure from Japanese folklore) who rescues young Elijah when he is lost in Tokyo in the first story reappears as a ghost in the penultimate story, helping the only member of a suicide club who didn't die to resume her life.

| Read Full Review of The Love We Share Without Kno...

SF Signal

In its depictions of both Japanese and American citizens living in Japan, it illuminates culture and cultural difference.

Mar 02 2009 | Read Full Review of The Love We Share Without Kno...

Bookmarks Magazine

The Love We Share Without Knowing, which was nominated for a Nebula Award, is the second novel from Christopher Barzak, after One for Sorrow ( 4 of 5 Stars Selection Jan/Feb 2008).

Dec 08 2008 | Read Full Review of The Love We Share Without Kno...


“Are you okay?” That is the question asked, in one form or another, in nearly all of the stories that comprise Christopher Barzak’s new mosaic novel The Love We Share Without Knowing.

Feb 11 2009 | Read Full Review of The Love We Share Without Kno...

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