Adolescence, a time of uncertainty for many, is tragic in “Astral Season, Beastly Season,” a stunning short novel by Japanese poet and writer, Tahi Saihate, 34. It’s a piercingly twisted coming-of-age story that revolves around two high school classmates who find themselves bound by their obsession to prove the innocence of an underground pop singer after she is accused of brutally murdering her boyfriend.

The novel consists of two parts. The first was published in Japan as a short story, titled “Astral Season, Beastly Season,” in 2014, but its popularity prompted a sequel, “The Season of Reckoning,” which was combined with the first section and released as a complete novel the following year. This translation is Saihate’s English debut.

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