Teatro Paraguas and Red Mountain Press are proud to present Gordon Ball reading from his book On Tokyo’s Edge: Gajin Tales from Postwar Japan. This reading is a continuation of our work with Red Mountain Press and the New Mexico literary community.
These twenty-three short stories reaffirm author Gordon Ball’s absorption with and illumination of “vanished” people, places, and times. Following on the heels of three memoirs, On Tokyo’s Edge recreates the texture of life among a rarefied group of relatively isolated foreigners in American-occupied Japan and the decade following Occupation. Peopling these interrelated short fictions are a great range of vivid characters, including schoolmates, lovers, military men, chemistry teachers, maids, a lustful preacher, and a missionary of exemplary character. Many of the tales focus on young Robert La Salle, suddenly transplanted at age five to a culture 8,000 miles distant and who, as year follows year, confronts levels of “foreignness” within himself and his family, as well as in the strange larger world around him.
On Tokyo's Edge is a wonderful collection of stories about a young boy coming of age in a foreign land. The stories draw us into his world and let us learn with him what happens when two cultures collide. Ball’s gentle, patient nature and his affection for this vanished world shines through vivid and undimmed by time. Beautifully written, it’s a book I couldn't put down.
—Bill Morgan, Archivist, author of I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg
On Tokyo’s Edge gorgeously evokes the privileged world of American expats in 1950s Occupied Japan. Among them is Robert La Salle, a young boy, uncomfortably aware of being an outsider in a defeated country and keenly alert to adult foibles. In crisp, ringing detail, the story reveals a tightly-knit American community that is reshaping Japan even as Japan refashions its place in the world. Like the re-emerging nation, Robert is coming of age. His progress is poignant, funny, and vastly entertaining.
—Cary Holladay, Author of Horse People: Stories
Gordon Ball, grandson of a portrait photographer, was born in Paterson, New Jersey, and grew up in Tokyo, Japan, where he first took up photography. Also an award-winning filmmaker, he’s made fourteen independent movies which have shown at such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Art Institute, Anthology Film Archives, and the Guggenheim Museum. For 28 years Gordon Ball took informal photographs of poet Allen Ginsberg and other members of the Beat Generation. He has taught as a Fulbright Specialist Lecturer in Japan, for the United States Information Agency in Poland, and at several universities in the United States. Gordon currently lives in Virginia.
Donations to the theatre gratefully accepted.
Teatro Paraguas: Argos MacCallum, 505.424.1601
or Julia Gay, 505.690.2367
Red Mountain Press: Susan Gardner, email@example.com
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Santa Fe, NM 87507