Gasa-Gasa Girl (Paperback)
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.
About the Author
Naomi Hirahara is a writer and editor of nonfiction and fiction books on the Japanese American experience. She authored the biography An American Son: The Story of George Aratani, Founder of Mikasa and Kenwood for the Japanese American National Museum. She is a former editor of The Rafu Shimpo, a Japanese American daily newspaper in Los Angeles.
"[Hirahara] brings heart and elegance to a nifty whodunit.... In the process of solving a murder mystery, an elderly Japanese-American begins to rebuild the strained relationship with his only daughter."—Kirkus Reviews
”What makes this series unique is its flawed and honorable protagonist. … A fascinating insight into a complex and admirable man.”—Booklist, starred review
“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