Synopses & Reviews
An American girl disappears on the dark side of Tokyo, a world of hostess clubs and corruption, racism, and conformity.
Lisa Countryman vanishes in Tokyo in 1980. The young U.S. Embassy official assigned to her case, Tom Hurley, is in over his head, tangled in an unsavory love affair with the wife of a CIA officer. Lisa's best chance at being found may lie in the improbable hands of Kenzo Ota, a neurotic Japanese cop ridiculed by his peers. Worse, Lisa likely disappeared into the shadow world of Tokyo's sex trade, where a bewildering variety of clubs cater to every imaginable male fantasy, lust, and perversion.
The mystery of Lisa's disappearance is intertwined with the mystery of her origins as an ainoko, a half-breed. For Lisa, as with others involved in her case, alienation and belonging, love and hate, are bound up with race. Every man guilty and innocent who seeks her has to come to terms with his own nature and character.
"[An] elegant first novel....Sharply observed, at turns trenchantly funny and heartbreakingly sad, this novel could be the breakout book for Lee." Publishers Weekly
"Thriller conventions draw the reader, like the characters, into a gallery of human enigmas. First-novelist Lee...leaves no fingerprints: his cool, precise prose captures his characters without overexplaining them." Kirkus Reviews
The mystery of an American woman's disappearance in Tokyo is intertwined with the mystery of her origins. Her best chance at being found may lie in the improbable hands of a neurotic Japanese cop ridiculed by his peers.
About the Author
Don Lee is the longtime editor of the literary journal Ploughshares and the author of the acclaimed story collection Yellow (winner of the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters). He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.