A sweeping tale of fathers and sons, of secrets and shame, and of unsung heroism.
Ben Ohara is the sole surviving member his family. A troubled and brilliant astrophysicist, Ben’s younger brother has mysteriously vanished in the Mojave Desert. His father, one of a small group of WWII draft resisters (known as No-No Boys) during the internment of Japanese Americans, committed suicide when Ben was young. And his mother, who steadfastly refused to revisit the past, has died with her secrets.
Realizing that the key to his future lies in reassessing the past, Ben retraces his steps through a childhood colored by the tough Chicago streets, horror movie monsters, sci-fi villains, Japanese folk tales, TV war heroes, and family tragedy. On this journey of forgiveness—leading him ever closer to his brother’s last days and the site of his father’s internment at Heart Mountain—Ben comes to understand the profound difference between coming of age and becoming a man.
2009 Minnesota Book Award Finalist
Binghamton University John Gardner Fiction Book Award Finalist
“There is no writer that dives deeper (or more bravely) into the chasm that is the human heart. [David Mura’s] first novel is a tour de force: luminously written and by turns crafty, tough, wise, and joyful.” —Junot Díaz
“Charged and probing . . . a moving act of reclamation.” —Gish Jen