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Gasa-Gasa Girl
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Gasa-Gasa Girl

By Naomi Hirahara
2005, 287 pages, Paperback.
Book Description From the Back Cover
Short Description
Review
About the Author

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Book Description From the Back Cover

From the time she was a child, Mas Arai's daughter, Mari, was completely gasa-gasa never sitting still, always on the go, getting into everything. And Mas, busy tending lawns, gambling, and struggling to put his Hiroshima past behind him, never had much time for the family he was trying to support. For years now, his resentful daughter has lived a continent away in New York City, and had a life he knew little about. But an anxious phone call from Mari asking for his help plunges the usually obstinate Mas into a series of startling situations from maneuvering in an unfamiliar city to making nice with his tall, blond son-in-law, Lloyd, to taking care of a sickly child .. to finding a dead body in the rubble of a former koi pond.

The victim was Kazzy Ouchi, a half-Japanese millionaire who also happened to be Mari and Lloyd's boss. Stumbling onto the scene, Mas sees more amiss than the detectives do, but his instinct is to keep his mouth shut. Only when the case threatens his daughter and her family does Mas take action: patiently, stubbornly tugging at the end of a tangled dangerous mystery. And as he does, he begins to lay bare a tragic secret on the dark side of an American dream...

Both a riveting mystery and a powerful story of passionate relationships across a cultural divide, Gasa-Gasa Girl is a tale told with heart and wisdom: an unforgettable portrait of fathers, daughters, and other strangers.

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Short Description

A sequel to Naomi Hirahara's first book, "Summer of the Big Bachi," this new book, "Gasa-Gasa Girl" continues the adventures of Kibei gardener, Mas Arai, as a reluctant amateur detective. As a Kibei, a Japanese American trapped in Japan during World War II, and a survivor of Hiroshima, Mas is caught between different worlds. These conflicts of identity have led to the estrangement between him and his American born daughter now living in New York City with her Caucasian husband and their new baby. A mysterious phone call from his daughter begging him for help leads him into a murder mystery. This story combines a good eye for detailing the inner conflicts of those caught between two very different cultures and the outer conflicts these differences create with others.

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Review

"What makes this series unique is its flawed and honorable protagonist. A fascinating insight into a complex and admirable man."
--Booklist

"The endearing, quietly dignified Mas, supported by a cast of spirited New Yorkers, as well as the distinctive Japanese-flavored prose, make this a memorable read."
--Publishers Weekly

"A compelling grasp of the Japanese American subculture absolutely fascinating."
--Asian American Press

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About the Author

Naomi Hirahara is a freelance writer and journalist who previously edited The Rafu Shimpo. She is the author of a previous Mas Arai mystery,
Summer of the Big Bachi.

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Most recent revision June 15, 2005