Socrates in Love by Kyoichi Katayama
Translated from the Japanese by Akemi Wegmuller
A beautiful, sad, love story. It definitely lived up to its billing as "a bittersweet journey of young love, enduring devotion, and heartbreaking loss." The writing seemed a bit simple at times, but it's hard to know if any awkwardness is actually due to the translation. The story itself though was very moving, and several scenes still linger in my mind.
Some fun facts:
*A bestseller in Japan, it surpassed Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood, which had previously held the record. It's also gone on to become a film, a manga, and a TV drama series.
*The author originally called it Socrates in Love but "for various reasons it was published under a different title in Japan." (Japanese title: 世界の中心で、愛をさけぶ - Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World)