GLLI Translated YA Book Prize Shortlist: My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame (Japan)


Yaichi is a work-at-home suburban dad in contemporary Tokyo; formerly married to Natsuki, father to their young daughter, Kana. Their lives suddenly change with the arrival at their doorstep of a hulking, affable Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a quest to explore Ryoji’s past, and the family reluctantly but dutifully takes him in. What follows is an unprecedented and heartbreaking look at the state of a largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it.

GENGOROH TAGAME was born in 1964 and lives in Tokyo. After graduating from Tama University of Art, Tagame worked as an art director while writing manga and prose fiction, contributing illustrations for various magazines. In 1994 he cofounded the epochal G-Men Magazine and by 1996 he was working full-time as an openly gay artist. He is the author of dozens of graphic novels and stories which have been translated into English, French, Italian, and Korean. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries across Europe and America. My Brother’s Husband, Volume 1 marked his first all-ages title, and earned him a 2018 Eisner Award, as well as the Japan Media Arts Award for Outstanding Work of Manga from the Agency of Cultural Affairs. My Brother’s Husband, Volume 2, was published by Pantheon in September 2018.

Anne Ishii is a writer, editor, translator, and producer based in New York City. She received her master’s degree from Columbia University in 2003 and her bachelor’s from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2000.Ishii’s translation credits include the Aranzi Machine Gun series, Aranzi Aronzo Fun Dolls (Let’s Make Cute Stuff), The Cute Book, The Bad Book, Gunji, and Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan.


“Heartbreaking yet hopeful, Gengoroh Tagame’s beautifully rendered meditation on the struggle for gay acceptance in today’s Japan is quietly dazzling. I am already looking forward to part two!”
—Anderson Cooper, CNN

“The art is crisp, and the characters’ faces expressive, allowing the reader to see their hurt, confusion, and relief….A sensitive exploration of the transition some families go through when a family member comes out and a possible entry point for those needing to start conversations of their own.”
Booklist, *starred review*

“Achingly true. . . At its heart, My Brother’s Husband is the story of a man coming to terms with the unquestioned cultural assumptions he’s harbored all his life. But the genius of Tagame’s art lies in its ability to slyly suggest—but by no means insist—that Yaichi’s real journey of discovery may have just begun.”—NPR

“This manga is powerful, and Tagame’s prowess within the genre shines through every page. . . [My Brother’s Husband] sneaks up on you, steals your heart away and refuses to return it. . . It will absolutely not disappoint.”—Looking Glass Reads


My Brother’s Husband, Vol. 1 & 2
Gengoroh Tagame
Translated from the Japanese by Anne Ishii
2017, Pantheon Graphic Library (Vol. 1); 2018, Pantheon Graphic Library (Vol. 2)
ISBN: 9781101871515 (Vol. 1); 9781101871539 (Vol. 2)

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