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Gene Oishi

Gene Oishi

Gene Oishi, former Washington and foreign correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, has written articles on the Japanese American experience for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Newsweek, and West Magazine, in addition to the Baltimore Sun. His memoir, In Search of Hiroshi, was published in 1988.

Now retired, he lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife Sabine.

Fox Drum Bebop

Fox Drum Bebop

Kaya Press Dec. 2014

Hiroshi Kono is eight years old and just beginning to question the racial and economic inequities he sees around him when he and his family, along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans, are packed off to a concentration camp run by the US military. The Arizona desert in which Hiroshi and his family find themselves is a harsh and barren world that sets sibling against sibling, parent against child, and neighbor against neighbor in a complex grappling with duty and disappointment that will reverberate through the decades that follow. Sexual initiation, kabuki performances, all-night jam sessions in French jazz clubs, alcoholism, and the ever-present drumbeat of family form the backdrop against which Hiroshi, his siblings, and his parents struggle to define themselves. Whether describing Hiroshi’s tumultuous coming of age or excavating the generational grievances exacerbated by internment, author Gene Oishi gives heartbreaking and at times humorous context to the post-war decades of a family set adrift by its experiences during WWII. In this clear-eyed and meticulously observed first novel, Oishi weaves together Hiroshi’s story with those of his family members and community to create a densely textured portrait of the physical and psychological displacement brought about over time by the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans.


“A fine novel about a sad chapter in American history: our treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War Two. Oishi knows whereof he speaks, and he speaks of it eloquently indeed.” — John Barth

Gene Oishi news

Kaya at AAAS 2016

Kaya Press is excited to be at the Association of Asian American Studies Conference 2016 in Miami, from April 27th through April 30th. Visit our table–– and celebrate Gene Oishi’s 2016 AAAS Award for Best Book of the Year in Prose, for Fox Drum Bebop. The awards ceremony will be held from 6–7:45pm at Symphony […]

Kaya Press at AWP

AWP is an annual literary conference that brings together over 12,000 writers and publishers from all over the country. Come visit us at Booth 1310! Kaya Press and Tia Chucha Press are sharing a space (which will also feature work by Tiny Splendor, and Dum Dum Zine). And here is a roundup of Kaya’s smoking hot literary […]

Celebrating #LITinCOLOR at the Japanese American National Museum

Kaya is proud to present a reading at the Japanese American National Museum. Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 7:00pm Tateuchi Democracy Forum Japanese American National Museum 100 N Central Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90012 #LITinCOLOR will celebrate the invention and imagination of writers of color who seek to represent realities that lie outside of the mainstream imagination, […]

Gene Oishi Wins AAAS Best Book Award

Congratulations to Kaya author Gene Oishi who won the 2016 Association for Asian American Studies Best Book Awards in Creative Writing: Prose for his novel Fox Drum Bebop! The selection committee remarked in their citation: “Gene Oishi said in a recent interview that it took him 50 years to write his first novel, which we […]


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