This riveting romance about a Japanese woman's relationship with an African-American soldier won the Bungei Prize in 1985. Amy Yamada burst onto the literary scene with this novel, which attracted much public attention for its audacious content when it first appeared. In awarding it the Bungei Prize, however, jury member Jun Eto urged people to recognize its high artistic value, arguing it to be "the most extraordinary work not only by a new writer but indeed by any writer published in Japan this year."
One glance is all it takes for Kim, a nightclub singer, to fall in love with Spoon, an African-American deserter from the U.S. Navy base in Yokosuka. In moments the two are having sex in the boiler room behind the club, after which they start living together. Their feverish passion, fed by drugs and booze, plunges them into a luridly degenerate life through which Kim becomes increasingly dependent on Spoon. Spoon's arrest on charges of attempting to sell stolen military secrets to another country brings the relationship to an abrupt end, however, and Kim is left with nothing but the painful awareness of how much Spoon had meant to her life.