"Winner of the Akutagawa Prize, Japan's most prestigious literary award. An unnamed Tokyo taxi driver has experienced a rupture from his everyday life. As he picks up fares that take him through Tokyo's night streets, offering him glimpses into the lives of his passengers, he can't escape his own nihilistic thoughts. Almost without meaning to, he puts himself in harm's way; he can't stop daydreaming of suicide, envisioning himself returning to the earth in what soon become terrifying blackout episodes. The truth is, his long-estranged father has tried to reach out to him, triggering a cascade of traumatized memories. As the cab driver wrestles with the grim truth about his past, the history of violence in his childhood among foster families and orphanages, he also confronts his real-world responsibilities--his troubled girlfriend's blossoming alcoholism and unhappiness over her own sad past. The Boy in the Earth is a closely told character study that poses a difficult question: are some lives so damaged they are beyond redemption? Is every child worth trying to save--or are some too ruined by their abusers to ever function in society? A poignant and thought-provoking tour de force"-- Provided by publisher.