HOW DO YOU LIVE? by Genzaburo Yoshino

How Do You Live?: Yoshino, Genzaburo, Navasky, Bruno, Gaiman, Neil:  9781616209773: Books

First published in 1937, Genzaburō Yoshino’s How Do You Live? has long been acknowledged in Japan as a crossover classic for young readers. Academy Award–winning animator Hayao Miyazaki has called it his favorite childhood book and announced plans to emerge from retirement to make it the basis of a final film. 
How Do You Live? is narrated in two voices. The first belongs to Copper, fifteen, who after the death of his father must confront inevitable and enormous change, including his own betrayal of his best friend. In between episodes of Copper’s emerging story, his uncle writes to him in a journal, sharing knowledge and offering advice on life’s big questions as Copper begins to encounter them. Over the course of the story, Copper, like his namesake Copernicus, looks to the stars, and uses his discoveries about the heavens, earth, and human nature to answer the question of how he will live.

There are a lot of books that get given the title ‘classic’, not all of them deserve that, but for How Do You Live? that title is richly deserved! Re-edited and published in Japan many times over 80 years

For people who can only read books in English this is a rare treat! As more and more books from outside the English canon are translated we see more into the cultural milieu of other nations. The story questions militarism and the rise of martial society, which in the time it was originally written and published is really quite amazing!

Read this work before Miyazaki’s movie is released (it will give you instant street cred in the eyes of all the fans of Studio Ghibli’s works)

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