In "Stuffed Prey," a Japanese maid café employee's obsession with claw machines is likened to the very human desire to succeed. Harmon Cooper, the author of the collection, was in a bus accident in India in 2011. "The Sciatica Goblin and the International Motley Crew," is a recollection of this experience. Facing retirement, a subway worker named Kodai runs from his post onto the highway in "Tokyo Stirs." He continues running, as the news media and police chase behind him. Heavy on the magical realism side, "Tani House," explores the unique relationship between an old woman and her guesthouse in Kyoto. "Modern Nomads" is a surrealist piece about a waitress who has had eyelid surgery in Mongolia. In "Pouring Hearts," a former soldier returns to Korea twenty years after his tour of duty to find his long lost love. What he finds instead will haunt him forever. In "Dreaded," a man named Tommy is almost imprisoned by Nepali police after attending a dance club filled with under-aged girls. In "Fishing with Shiva," a man suffering from Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease tells a bittersweet story to his caretaker about his time in Nepal. These three stories form a trio of stories all connected by a book called Once upon the Ganges. The stories in Tokyo Stirs are bittersweet stories, written to inspire both hope and fear regarding the passing of time.
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