A Drifting Life
By Yoshihiro Tatsumi
(Drawn & Quarterly, Paperback, 9781897299746, 855pp.)
Publication Date: April 14, 2009
List Price: $34.95*
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The epic autobiography of a manga master
Acclaimed for his visionary short-story collections "The Push Man and Other Stories," "Abandon the Old in Tokyo," and "Good-Bye"--originally created nearly forty years ago, but just as resonant now as ever--the legendary Japanese cartoonist Yoshihiro Tatsumi has come to be recognized in North America as a precursor of today's graphic novel movement. "A Drifting Life" is his monumental memoir eleven years in the making, beginning with his experiences as a child in Osaka, growing up as part of a country burdened by the shadows of World War II.
Spanning fifteen years from August 1945 to June 1960, Tatsumi's stand-in protagonist, Hiroshi, faces his father's financial burdens and his parents' failing marriage, his jealous brother's deteriorating health, and the innumerable pitfalls that await him in the competitive manga market of mid-twentieth-century Japan. He dreams of following in the considerable footsteps of his idol, the manga artist Osamu Tezuka ("Astro Boy," "Apollo's Song," "Ode to Kirihito," "Buddha")--with whom Tatsumi eventually became a peer and, at times, a stylistic rival. As with his short-story collection, "A Drifting Life" is designed by Adrian Tomine.