In this Book
TOKYO is an incisive, shape-shifting tour de force, a genre-bending mix of lyric prose, science fiction, horror, and visual collage exploring the erotic undercurrents of American perceptions of Japanese culture and identity.
By turns noir, surreal, and clinical in its language and style, TOKYO employs metaphors of consumption, disease, theater, gender fluidity, monstrousness, and ecological disaster in intertwined accounts touching on matters of cultural appropriation, fiction's powerful capacity to produce immersive realities, and the culturally corrupting late capitalist excesses that entangle both the United States and Japan.
The novel opens with a fantastic, slyly comic report written by a Japanese executive, describing the anomalous bluefin tuna his company purchased at Tokyo’s iconic fish market, as well as the dissolution of the executive’s marriage to his Japanese-American, or Sansei, wife. But when an American writer—whose own Sansei wife was previously married to a Japanese executive—begins investigating the report’s author and his claims, assisted by a mysterious Japanese correspondent the American suspects may once have been his wife’s lover, identities begin to scramble until it’s uncertain who is imagining who, and who is and isn’t Japanese. Meanwhile, a secret plot to establish pure Japaneseness through the global distribution of genetically engineered bluefin tuna seems to be rushing toward its conclusion like a great wave.