"It is I, Seagull!"?This novel opens with the famous call sign repeated by Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to fly in space, while orbiting the Earth in 1963. From there the narrative skips ahead four decades to May 12, 2006, and the goings-on among a diverse set of Tokyoites between early morning and midnight. At the center stand three characters?Eri, who was raped by three college students when she was 14 and still carries her hatred inside four years later; Setoyama, a writer who has hit a slump since losing his wife, Chie, to a heart attack five weeks earlier; and Koda, a radio personality who once dated Chie during her announcer years and is now a divorcee estranged from his only son. Their stories intersect with those of others, including a young, overweight cloudologist who hangs around with Eri; a former colleague of Chie who appears on Koda's program; and the show's young assistant director. Chie and Eri parallel Nina from Chekhov's play The Seagull, while the broadcasts from Koda's radio station inside an ultramodern Tokyo highrise are likened to Tereshkova's communications from space. The result is a polished urban novel that sensitively portrays the links bridging human beings as well as the poignancy of their efforts to transmit their voices and feelings to one another.