Book Review: Schoolgirl by Osamu Dazai

November 2, 2011


Schoolgirl (Joseito, ć„łç”ŸćŸ’) by Osamu Dazai (translated by Allison Markin Powell) is a short fictional story which started the authors career. The 1933 book is being reissued in a new translation.

The publisher is giving away one copy of this Japanese classic – enter at the end of the post.

Buy Schoolgirl from*My rating for Schoolgirl – 4
Buy Schoolgirl from*

More books by Osamu Dazai*
More Books translated by Allison Markin Powell*


Schoolgirl by Osamu Dazai, a Japanese novelist and a master storyteller, is a playful book which is seemingly simple but is more than it seems on the surface. At first starting to read the book I thought “what the hell is this?” but as I read further along I realized that the book is much deeper than the banal musings of a teenage girl.

The narrator contradicts herself left and right and by doing so turns herself inside out for the benefit of the reader. The reader is privy to the internal turmoil which boils underneath her skin and the demeanor which she displays to the outside world.

Stream-of-consciousness books can go either way for me. Some of them are annoying or seem more like a long tirade, however done right, as it is in this instance they can be brilliant.

This girl, stuck at an age where she is no longer a girl, but not yet a woman is an interesting age for authors, and hellish for young adults and their parents. There are many books, especially since the mid-twentieth century (Catcher in the Rye, Clockwork Orange, etc.) which touch this subject. This book is not in the scope of others, as the story is more conceptual but somehow it works.

While I did enjoy this book, I wish I would have read some of Mr. Dazai’s other works beforehand. It is a good story, an excellent exercise in writing, but I don’t know if I would have finished it if it would have been longer.

A day in the life of a teenage girl, on the verge of becoming a woman. She is dealing with a depressed mom, coping with the recent death of her dad, school and the other problems girls like her deal on a daily base.

While her inner turmoil is boiling, she keeps a cool façade when it comes to portraying what she feels. Sometimes hypocritical, sometimes sad but interesting.

Buy Schoolgirl from*
More books by Osamu Dazai*
More Books translated by Allison Markin Powell*


  • Giveaway ends: September 09, 2011

  • US/Canada Shipping Addresses Only

  • Winners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, otherwise an alternate winner will be picked

Congratulations: bookandmoviedimensionblogger@

Zohar – Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this free.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books
Article first published as Book Review: Schoolgirl by Osamu Dazai on Blogcritics.

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  • AnnaNovember 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Glad to hear the stream-of-consciousness style is done right in this novella, since I just received a copy for review! I’ll keep in mind that the book is more than just the thoughts of a young girl.

  • Jennifer, bookspersonallyNovember 3, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Sounds like a wonderful story- great review, so interesting to hear how it evolved and unfolded for you as you read!

  • DarleneNovember 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

    This sounds like an amazing read!

    I did an “oopsie” on the Rafflecopter entry. I am an old follower on GFC, and I put my GFC name in the “New Follower” entry. I am a new follower on Networked Blogs, and my handle is “Darlene’s Book Nook”.

    Sorry about the flub!

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