Ghosts lurk in the bamboo forest outside the tiny northern Japanese town where Satomi lives with her elusive mother, Atsuko. A preternaturally gifted pianist, Satomi wrestles with inner demons. Her fall from grace is echoed in the life of her daughter, Rumi, who unleashes a ghost she must chase from foggy San Francisco to a Buddhist temple atop Japan’s icy Mount Doom. In sharp, lush prose, Picking Bones from Ash examines the power and limitations of female talent in our globalized world.
“A book of intelligence and heart.” —AMY TAN
“Deeply preoccupied with girls, talent, and power.” —MAUD NEWTON
“The best elements of a mystery story, ghost story, magical realism and the complex difficulties in deciding what is ‘best’ for our elders and offspring.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“[Picking Bones from Ash], so firmly anchored in a sensuous reality, veers into a dream world. A reader has the sense that even the author was driven by her most powerful character: the original mother, raising her daughter alone, shunned by villagers, forced to make decisions that haunt her descendants.” —Los Angeles Times