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Country of Origin: A Novel (2004)
by Don Lee
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 039332706X, Paperback)
A dazzling debut novel by the prize-winning author of Yellow, set in the unique and exotic nightworld of Tokyo.In this "poignant story of prejudice, betrayal and the search for identity" (Newsweek International), the trials and tribulations of these three remarkable characters are "at turns trenchantly funny and heartbreakingly sad" (Publishers Weekly). "[An] elegant and haunting debut" (Entertainment Weekly), Country of Origin is a "swirl of action, a whirl of love and sex and race and politics, local and international" (Chicago Tribune)—a "quiet literary triumph" (Booklist)
Lisa Countryman is a woman of complex origins. Half-Japanese, adopted by African American parents, she returns to Tokyo, ostensibly to research her thesis on Japan's "sad, brutal reign of conformity." When she vanishes, Tom Hurley, who is half-Korean and half-white, is assigned to her case at the American embassy, as is local cop Kenzo Ota, who is 100 percent Japanese but deemed an outsider.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:34 -0400)
"Lisa Countryman vanishes in Tokyo but no one seems to be in a particular hurry to find her. The American embassy official assigned to her case, Tom Hurley, can't be bothered, entangled as he is in an unsavory love affair with the wife of a CIA officer. The neurotic Japanese cop in charge of the investigation, Kenzo Ota, is equally preoccupied, ridiculed by his peers, demeaned by his superiors, his life a lonely shambles. Worse, it appears that Lisa has disappeared into the shadow world of Tokyo's sex trade, where a bewildering and often comical variety of clubs cater to every imaginable male fantasy." "The mystery of her disappearance is intertwined with the mystery of her origins as an ainoko, or half-breed. For Lisa, who is half African American and half Asian, alienation and belonging, love and hate, are bound up with race. All the characters' loyalties are divided - between their countries of origin and their adoptive nationalities, between their society's traditions and their own sense of justice - as they yearn to find where they truly belong." "Country of Origin is an exploration of the meaning of identity and belonging."--BOOK JACKET.
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