Nakamura Reality (Hardcover)

By Alex Austin

Permanent Press (NY), 9781579624095

Publication Date: February 1, 2016

List Price: 29.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


To understand Japanese culture requires reading between the lines. This is Hugh Mcpherson’s challenge in Nakamura Reality, a beguiling blend of mystery, odyssey, inconsolable loss and obsession.
To rendezvous with a former girlfriend, Hugh Mcpherson leaves his surfing-obsessed sons on an isolated California beach. When Hugh returns, the eleven-year-olds twins have vanished. A ferocious riptide has swept Takumi and Hitoshi out to sea, their bodies unrecovered.
Devastated by the loss, Hugh and his Japanese wife Setsuko divorce. Severing all ties to America, Setsuko returns to Japan to live with her father, Kazuki Ono, a prominent author of mind-bending novels.
After grieving for ten years and longing for Setsuko, Hugh swims out to sea to drown himself. As he sinks, his sons appear to him, holding the last letter that he had sent to their mother, begging her forgiveness.
Abandoning his suicide, Hugh swims back to shore. The incident awakens memories that throw doubt on the accepted version of his sons’ deaths. Hugh’s doubts are intensified when he learns that Kazuki Ono has come to California to finish a novel called Fingal’s Cave, the tale of a brash American who marries a Japanese woman against the wishes of her father, a powerful businessman with ties to the Yakuza.
Provoked by his memories and obliquely revealing passages found in Kazuki’s books, Hugh begins a Quixotic journey across the California landscape, encountering numerous characters of ill-will and cross-purpose, but who inexorably lead him toward a film-industry firm called Nakamura Reality, and a labyrinth that challenges him to separate reality from fiction to find his way out ... and perhaps back to his sons.

About the Author

Alex Austin is a Los Angeles writer and journalist whose recent fiction has appeared in numerous magazines including Black Clock, carte blanche and River and South Review. His plays have been produced in Los Angeles, Portland and New York. Mimosa, the featured play in Wordsmiths Playwrights Festival, is published by Playscripts Inc. Winner of several awards, The Amazing Brenda Strider was a Backstage West Critic’s Pick when produced in Los Angeles. Austin lives with his wife Eileen in that blast furnace called the West Valley and has three children, one of whom resided in Tokyo for several years and married a Japanese woman, the springboard for Austin’s current novel.

Praise For Nakamura Reality

"Austin's writing is powerful and moving, whether he's describing Hugh's heartrending quest or quoting passages from the novel within the novel. The book's interplay between fantasy and reality demands close attention, but readers who make the effort will be more than amply rewarded." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Built into that mysterious space between fairytale, myth and gritty authenticity, Alex Austin's Nakamura Reality is achingly real, hauntingly surreal, and vividly imaginative. A tale of love lost, loveless loss, and fiction's cruel machinations, where family ties tear and weave into a literary tapestry, and a wounded father works his way through the chess game of a broken life. Hugh McPherson once thought he understood enough of his wife's Japanese culture. Now he feels more like a character in his father-in-law, Kazuki Ono's novel, who directs the path of another tale. Only the final pages will show if revenge or hope was intended. A novel to be read slowly and savored, with mystery seasoning the space between the lines. This is a masterpiece. Highly recommended." --Sheila's Reviews

"Atmospheric and literally quite breathtaking, Alex Austin's Nakamura Reality is an exercise in beauty. There are lessons to be learned in this novel about Japanese culture, and its vast difference to American culture. However, despite the many cultural differences presented quite efficiently by the author, there is still that underlying connection between humanity that intrinsically links us all to one another. [Austin] shines in his portrayal of the mysteries and tumult that surround all the characters has created. His ability to easily sustain the readers interest page in and page out demonstrates the talent of an author that clearly knows the power that words can bring."--ReadingOtherPeople

"Nakamura Reality is simply brilliant. It has blended emotional turbulence with deepening mystery and aspects that go beyond the periphery of reality. It forces you to introspect. It is literature that will affect your feelings and even compel you to go over the same chapter twice. I might as well read the entire book a couple of times because it's appeal does not die out. I'd recommend Nakamura Reality to readers who appreciate insightful fiction. This is a book to remember." --The Page-Hungry Bookworm