Stone Field, True Arrow: A Novel

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9780805040807: Stone Field, True Arrow: A Novel

In her debut novel for adults, Kyoko Mori has drawn on ancient myths, reworked with her hallmark lush and lyrical prose, to probe the eternal question: Given the fragility of life, is love too great a risk?

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About the Author:

Kyoko Mori is the author of two novels for young readers, One Bird and Shizuko’s Daughter, which was chosen as a Best Young Children’s Book by The New York Times. She has also written two memoirs for adults, Polite Lies and The Dream of Water. Born in Kobe, Japan, Mori moved to the United States as a teenager. She teaches writing at Harvard University.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Memoirist Mori (Polite Lies, 1998, etc.) offers her first adult novel, a meditative though not very sympathetic look at one woman's journey in reconciling her lonely childhood with the bleak present she has created for herself.When Maya receives a parcel from Japan, she knows without opening it that her father has died. Having last seen him when she was ten, before she went to Milwaukee to be raised by her Americanized mother and stepfather, Maya has had no contact with him since, only forlorn dreams about him and his art. With notice of his death, memories of the short time she and he spent together, and the senselessness of their sustained separation, fuel Maya's examination of her life thus far: at 34, she weaves textiles of her own design (having long lost the desire that sent her to art school, to paint) while maintaining a tepid relationship with her husband. In her quest for solitude and silence, she alienates him, then wonders why they have trouble connecting. The story's one nurturing relationship belongs to Maya and her girlhood friend Yuko, offering an endearing example of platonic love: it's this friendship that sustains Maya as her marriage falls apart, more from atrophy than disagreement. Just when the reader is convinced that Maya is made of stone, she meets Eric, a painter, and the two begin an ardent affair-until Maya finally sends him away so she can retreat into her comforting, far safer world of isolation. Will Maya allow herself love and call Eric back? Or will she stubbornly cling to a passionless life, as a sort of tribute to her father's solitary and committed existence as an artist? Either way, the lack of empathy for Maya creates a novel that's lyrical in its reserve while at the same time frustratingly pallid.An unlikable lead character undercuts a story at times rich with fine observations on familial and marital relationships. -- Copyright © 2000 Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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