Fresh out of Yale, Alec Stern spends a summer working in an American computer company's Tokyo offices. Schwartz, a 23-year-old Harvard grad, vividly sets the scene of his promising if overly self-absorbed debut novel. Alec's romance with a 33-year-old Japanese woman, Kawashima, is the highlight of his stay. Through flashbacks to his boyhood in New York City, we learn that he came to the Orient partly to wipe the slate clean, to escape memories of his parents' divorce and his bitter fights with his older brother Mark. But Mark's unexpected appearance in Tokyo, combined with the death of Kawashima's aged grandfather, jolt Alec out of his Shangri-La. Schwartz has a good ear for the humorous misunderstandings and cultural differences that often arise in Japanese-American interactions. Unfolding in 40 vignettes sketched in a lean, almost mimimalist style, the diary-like narrative evokes a medley of sights and experiences with which Western readers can readily identify--a view of Mount Fuji, pachinko (pinball) parlors, the tea ceremony, coping with subways, Japanese family customs, shopping in department stores and fish markets.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Graceful ... reminiscent of Fitzgerald.... [It] leaves us holding our breath for more." —San Francisco Chronicle
"Luminous...linger[s] after the story is finished." —The New York Times Book Review
"Has freshness and energy...announces the debut of a bright new voice in fiction." —The New York Times
"Schwartz subtly evokes the stirrings and upheavals of a culture, and a person, in transition." —Detroit Free Press
Gorgeous prose; unforgettable protagonist. Almost as good as a ticket to Japan!Published 2 months ago by Wrenn F Compere
Going to Japan and spending long enough there to really absorb the language and culture was a dream of mine from my youngest days. Read morePublished on September 24, 2011 by Tracy Kingsley
This is a book of contrasts. On the one hand, it is not your stereotypical story of a foreigner lost in Japan. Read morePublished on November 12, 2002 by LeBoucher
Not too bad, from a descriptive standpoint. Schwartz is very familiar with Japanese tradition and customs and introduces his readers to these concepts freely. Read morePublished on February 15, 2001
While the descriptions of Toyko are fluid and pictorial, scenes where the protagonist interacts with other characters seems very unnatural and forced. Read morePublished on May 26, 1999