A beloved and bestselling classic in Japan, this groundbreaking tale of a dead soul who gets a second chance is perfect for readers of The Midnight Library.
"Congratulations, you've won the lottery!" shouts the angel Prapura to a formless soul. The soul hasn't been kicked out of the cycle of rebirth just yet—he's been given a second chance. He must recall the biggest mistake of his past life while on 'homestay' in the body of fourteen-year-old Makoto Kobayashi, who has just committed suicide. It looks like Makoto doesn't have a single friend, and his family don't seem to care about him at all. But as the soul begins to live Makoto's life on his own terms, he grows closer to the family and the people around him, and sees their true colors more clearly, shedding light on Makoto's misunderstandings.
Since its initial release over twenty years ago, Colorful has become a part of the literary canon, not only in Japan—where it has sold over a million copies—but around the world, having been translated into several different languages. Now, Eto Mori's beloved classic is finally available in English.
A bestseller in Japan after its 1998 publication, Mori's philosophically uplifting coming-of-age tale begins as a formless soul is intercepted by an angel, informed that they've done something that would ordinarily preclude reincarnation, and offered a second chance. If this recently deceased soul occupies someone else's body for a time and learns from its mistakes, it will have the opportunity to regain its memories and reenter the cycle of rebirth. The body in question is that of 14-year-old Makoto Kobayashi, who has recently attempted suicide, is friendless, and is despised by his family. But Makoto thrives when creating works of art, and the soul, too, soon uses drawing and painting as a way to connect with its host and those around him. Themes of gratitude and the acceptance and even celebration of human imperfections guide the soul's journey back to itself as it learns the value of, among other things, recognizing one's parents as complicated, flawed individuals. Mori's novel is both life-affirming and, in Allen's translation, quietly funny, offering readers a timeless perspective on human connections.