A winner of Japan's prestigious Aktugawa Prize for rising literary talent, "I Want to Kick You in the Back" follows Hatsu, who is in her first year of high school and having a hard time fitting in with her classmates. She meets Ninagawa, an outcast who is obsessed with a model/pop idol but who has no interest in the actual girls around him. Gradually, Hatsu develops an impulse towards Ninagawa, not of love or infatuation, but one that can best be described as a desire to kick him in the back.This novella does a great job of exploring the ambivalent feelings of a teenager in search of a meaningful relationship.
Risa Wataya was born in 1984 in Kyoto, Japan. At the age of 17, her debut novel, "Install," received the Bungei Prize. Her second novel, "I Want to Kick You in the Back," has sold 1.3 million copies in Japan and received the Akutagawa Prize for rising literary talent, making Ms. Wataya the youngest recipient of this prestigious prize. In 2008, she was selected as a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum.