Synopses & Reviews
In this dazzling and critically acclaimed debut collection, Mary Yukari Waters provides a rare glimpse into the heart and humanity of a society in the midst of immense change. These graceful, expertly crafted stories, set in Japan, explore the gray areas between the long shadow of World War II and the rapid advance of Westernization. The women and children who inhabit this terrain have lost husbands and fathers to the war, and ancient traditions to American pop culture. Parents are mystified by the future of forks and knives, hairspray and hip-hop; children embrace it.
With these stories of upheaval and renewal, estrangement and reconciliation, Waters provides keen insight into the experience and sensibility of different generations as they confront an altered world. A virtuoso collection infused with warmth, The Laws of Evening announces a stunning new voice in fiction.
Elle Resonant and deeply felt...each story has the multi-faceted clarity of a rare gem.
Chicago Tribune An impressive collection from a young writer exploring subjects of immense intrinsic value...assured and complex.
Resonant and deeply felt...each story has the multi-faceted clarity of a rare gem.
San Francisco Chronicle As meticulous as origami....Waters...lets nothing get past her in this splendid book.
Vogue [A]n elegant debut....With unnerving subtlety [Waters] navigates the ways people in exile find comfort in the everyday traditions they cannot bear to leave behind.
Los Angeles Times Muted and delicate, Waters' stories ache with loss.
Sena Jeter Naslund Author of Ahab's Wife; or, The Star-Gazer and The Disobedience of Water Every syllable, every sentence, every story has the grace of a ceremonial gesture in Mary Yukari Waters's The Laws Of Evening. Like haiku, each story precisely embodies a moment and evocatively transcends it. The stories defy the finiteness of narrative: they begin almost imperceptibly -- it seems we have been spellbound our whole lives in this magic theater; and certainly they evaporate or sublime, but do not end.
Kate Walbert Author of The Gardens of Kyoto An exquisite debut -- these stories are a banquet for the senses. In rich, delicate strokes, Waters masterfully evokes all the beauty and complexity of postwar Japan, dazzling with her poetry and strange wisdom.
Geoffrey Wolff Author of The Age of Consent These stories introduce a writer of authority and delicacy. Mary Yukari Waters approaches her characters' symptoms and distresses with the compassionate curiosity of a brilliant physician. She treats these human beings -- however exotic, to this Western male, may be their customs and circumstances -- with scrupulous dignity. Her characters do better for having come under her gaze. I feel better, more alert to strangers and surprise, for having read them.
About the Author
Mary Yukari Waters is half Japanese and half Irish-American. The recipient of an O. Henry award, a Pushcart Prize, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, she has been published in The Best American Short Stories 2002 and 2003, The Pushcart Book of Short Stories: The Best Stories from a Quarter-Century of the Pushcart Prize,
and Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope 2
She earned her MFA from the University
, and lives in Los Angeles