Books by Mississippi Writers 1996-2010
A Novel by David Galef Permanent Press (Hardcover, $24, ISBN: 1579620108, 9/1998) Spending a year in Japan after graduating from Cornell in the late 1970s was Cricket Collins' plan. But the year stretched to almost five because it was all so seductive: the work (teaching conversational English) was plentiful and profitable; the controlled society (which allowed foreigners a certain latitude) was appealing; and he liked the food. Increasingly immersed in a culture so different from his own, Collins eventually fits in neither. The problem with viewing the expatriate experience through the lens of this protagonist is that Collins is less than stable to begin with. He grew up solitary, the only child of a mother who died when he was nine and a distant father, and in Japan he commits acts of petty theft, hears―and answers―voices in his head of persons living and dead, and finally shouts insults at his students. So it is no surprise that his story turns dark. Interesting from a cross-cultural standpoint but ultimately lacking uplift. Review By Michele Leber. ―Copyright © 1998, American Library Association. All rights reserved.