THE CITY OF YES, by Peter Oliva. Toronto, Canada: McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1999; 336 pp., $21.99.

Like many another young, sensitive, well-intentioned foreigner, Canadian-born Peter Oliva — or his protagonist — came to Japan for a year and was so bowled over by the place that he felt the world could hardly go on if it didn’t hear what happened to him here and how he felt about it.

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