Alex Austin's Nakamura Reality, a novel

Publication Date: February 2016 by The Permanent Press


The Story

To understand Japanese culture requires reading between the lines. This is Hugh Mcpherson's challenge in Nakamura Reality, a beguiling blend of mystery, odyssey, inconsolable loss and obsession.

To rendezvous with a former girlfriend, Hugh Mcpherson leaves his surfing-obsessed sons on an isolated California beach. When Hugh returns, the eleven-year-old twins have vanished. A ferocious riptide has swept Takumi and Hitoshi out to sea, their bodies unrecovered.

Devastated by the loss Hugh and his Japanese wife, Setsuko, divorce. Severing all ties to America, Setsuko returns to Japan to live with her father, Kazuki Ono, a prominent author of mind-bending novels.

After grieving for ten years and longing for Setsuko, Hugh swims out to sea to drown himself. As he sinks, his sons appear to him, holding the last letter that he had sent to their mother, begging her forgiveness.

Abandoning his suicide, Hugh swims back to shore. The incident awakens memories that throw doubt on the accepted version of his sons' deaths. Hugh's doubts are intensified when he learns that Kazuki Ono has come to California to finish a novel called Fingal's Cave, the tale of a brash American who marries a Japanese woman against the wishes of her father, a powerful businessman with ties to the Yakuza.

Provoked by his memories and obliquely revealing passages found in Kazuki's books, Hugh begins a quixotic journey across the California landscape, encountering numerous characters of ill will and cross-purpose, but who inexorably lead him toward a film-industry firm called Nakamura Reality, the creators of a labyrinth that has enclosed Hugh for ten years and challenges him to separate reality from fiction to find his way out ... and perhaps back to his sons.

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Links to Published Excerpts and other Fiction

  • Night Swim (excerpted from Nakamura Reality)

  • UV30 (excerpted from Nakamura Reality)

  • The Rat (Nominated for Best of the Web 2015)

  • Water and Stone

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