My Brother's Husband

My Brother's Husband

Volume 1

Book - 2017 | First American edition.
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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.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, [2017]
Edition: First American edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781101871515
1101871512
Branch Call Number: TAGAM
Characteristics: 352 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 19 cm
Alternative Title: Otouto no Otto. English

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KHCPL_Doug Dec 11, 2017

I loved just about everything about this book. It's written by a gay author/illustrator, yet the perspective is mostly from the straight and reserved Yaichi. He's Japanese, a single dad, and seemingly very lonely but complacent. When his brother-in-law, a Canadian no less, shows up and makes him look inward to become more aware of his late brother's life. One of the highlights of the book was Kana, the young daughter. She is the most sincere and the most honest character in the book, and feels like a real young person. I loved her interactions with both her father and the people around her. And of course, her innocent observations and comments spur the insight that Yaichi has tried to avoid, but not is confronted with because of this large, lumbering foreigner. There are times when the book isn't very subtle, and it's clear that the creator is trying to bring awareness while also giving some glimpses of Japanese culture that seem outdated compared to Western culture. But I found those moments to be easily overlooked and accepted. My only real complaint, and maybe it's intentional, is that the facial expression for both Yaichi and Mike are so static, Yaichi with a deer in headlights look, and Mike with the look of a happy oaf. Always. That got on my nerves. And when I turned the last page, and realized the story doesn't end, I was really upset. Until I looked at the spine, and see this is volume 1! There's much more to explore here, so I'm really looking forward to following volumes.

BostonPL_AnnaD Dec 07, 2017

Definitely all ages friendly, this is a sweet story of a single father trying to understand his late brother while getting to know the husband he never knew his brother had and struggling with his ingrained homophobia. Well worth reading, and a great reminder that people are just people and love is love.

forbesrachel Nov 29, 2017

When the kindly, yet slightly conservative, Yaichi welcomes the affable Mike into his home, he has no idea what to expect. Mike on the other hand has come to Japan to see his late husband’s childhood home, meet his distant relations, and fulfill an as of yet unspoken promise. Kana, Yaichi’s daughter, adores this new uncle on first sight. Together, the three go about their everyday lives. Through Yaichi’s thoughts, Kana’s perception, and Mike’s stories we learn about the small things that heterosexual people unconsciously think or do that influences their perception and relationships with LGBTQ individuals. For Yaichi, who grew up in Japan, intimacy can be difficult to talk about and gay marriage is still not legal. However, because he yearns to learn about his brother, he really considers the things that Kana and Mike say, and is able to grow. My Brother’s Husband doesn’t dwell on the negative, it instead paints a picture of hope; that through awareness and bonds, more people will see LGBTQ persons as people who love and live like anyone else. What makes this story so accessible to a broad audience though is that Tagame broaches it through the central question of “what is family?”. Women marry women, men marry men, and even Kana, who was born from a male and female relationship, doesn’t have the “traditional” family dynamic, because her parents are separated. The artwork is equally accessible to a western audience, forgoing the flashy designs, panel layouts, and even sound effects for a much cleaner look. Screentones are expertly used to deliver a quietly emotional tone, and the pacing is steadfast. Unlike most published books featuring LGBTQ individuals, this one is not about discovering love or coming to accept one’s identity. Mike was married to Ryoji. His grief over the death of someone he loved very much naturally speaks to our hearts, and the healing effect of the new family he is forging gives us a good feeling. Stories depicting LGBTQ persons in other times and aspects of their lives are sorely needed, so for both the concept and execution, Tagame is worthy of the highest praise.

samcmar Sep 20, 2017

This made me cry. It's a beautiful discussion of homosexuality and homophobia in Japan. It's a beautiful story of estranged brothers-in-law learning to connect over their loss and how grief can transform relationships. I really can't wait to read more, but this was perfect.

KateHillier Aug 18, 2017

This was lovely. There's a lot going on in this volume, and there's more to come I'm happy to see, and a lot of emotion is covered here. There's sadness, there's happiness, there's humour, there's culture differences, discrimination, all whole whack of things. Exactly as you'd expect from a story about a modern Japanese man who is visited by the Canadian husband of his estranged and recently deceased brother. Yaichi and Mike have a lot to learn from each other and a lot of the understanding is fostered through the open and enthusiastic acceptance and inquisitiveness from Yaichi's daughter, Kana.

k
Kyanite
Aug 10, 2017

Enough depth for adult readers, but PG enough for children. A beautifully-done book.

q
Quirkly
Aug 07, 2017

The dialogue is easy, and I learned a new way to read no dialogue animation/feelings. It took me till about 1/3 of the book to get it so don't give up. I immediately re-read and returned it the next day asking for the next volume in the story. We have to wait.

PimaLib_ScottM May 13, 2017

A sweet heart warming tale of child innocence and acceptance and adults learning to understand and discard fear and judgments

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Kyanite
Aug 10, 2017

Kyanite thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

PimaLib_ScottM May 13, 2017

PimaLib_ScottM thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 99

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