A bestselling and award-winning Japanese phenomenon – about obsession, pop culture and fandom
WINNER OF THE AKUTAGAWA PRIZE
‘Usami so successfully depicts the consequences of pure obsession’ Guardian
‘Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what it is like to be a teenage girl’ Catherine Prasifka
High-school student Akari has only one passion in her life: her oshi, her idol. His name is Masaki Ueno, best known as one-fifth of Japanese pop group Maza Maza. Akari’s dedication to her oshi consumes her days completely – until he disgraces himself and Akari’s world goes into a tailspin.
“Usami so successfully depicts the consequences of pure obsession”
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”[Idol, Burning] cracked a door open into an intense world of obsession … essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what it is like to be a teenage girl, where priorities are skewed, emotions are high, and everything feels like it’s life or death”
“A vivid depiction of the joys and despairs of teenage fan culture, Idol, Burning is urgent and all-consuming … In this passionate and compassionate novel, the voice of teenage desperation sings out”
“A short but mighty novel that sheds a light on the world of superfans, obsession and the dangers of building your identity around a phenomenon that can disappear in a second … Usami’s novel lifts the lid on the unique world of fandom and ‘stan’ culture in Japan”
“Compelling and unsettling in equal measure, Idol, Burning is a pitch-perfect insight into how confusing and exhausting modern life can feel to young women today.”
Born in 1999, Rin Usami is a university student and writer. Her debut novel Kaka won the Bungei Prize and the Mishima Yukio Prize. Her second novel Oshi, Moyu / Idol, Burning won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize in 2020 and has become a phenomenon, selling over 500,000 copies in Japan alone. She lives in Japan.
Asa Yoneda is a literary translator based in Bristol, UK, whose work includes The Lonesome Bodybuilder by Yukiko Motoya and Dead-End Memories by Banana Yoshimoto.