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From the moment the deeply eccentric Hiroshi, a budding Japanese jazz genius, hits American ground, the ground starts hitting back with everything it’s got — just as he is to begin a high-profile gig that promises to make his career.

Hiroshi’s experiences in New York are exhilarating and humiliating, thrilling and traumatic in equal measure. As the quirky, disaster-prone, and language- and music-obsessed artist struggles to recover both emotionally and physically from a paralyzing illness that is not permanent but whose aftereffects may render him unable to ever again play his clarinet, he must also cope with the long-distance betrayal of his beautiful girlfriend and with his sublimated guilt over his role in the death of his sister many years ago, at the dusty end of a mysterious route she called “The Forbidden Pathway” in the tiny country town in Japan where they grew up.

This seriocomic novel, densely populated with quirky characters, is a love letter to New York City and to the English language. It also shines a spotlight on one fairly peculiar corner of the Japanese sensibility embodied in its hyperconscious but absentminded, sensual but abstracted, intelligent but terribly innocent hero, a Japanese Lucky Jim, who comes to terms with becoming an adult and respecting his gifts against the dual backgrounds of a mysterious pathway in Japan, which now exists only in his memory, and what he lovingly describes as “the filthy charm of New York City,” in the only too-real present day.

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trade paperback
5.25" X 8.25"
240 pp.
list price $17.95
ISBN 978-0-9752540-2-8