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The Method Actors

A Novel

List Price: $16.00

May 18, 2005 | Paperback |  6 x 9, 512 Pages | ISBN 9781593760656
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"Shuker's dizzying debut shimmers with authentic detail, an uncanny, otherworldly sense of place and a cast of believably hardcore hipsters." —Publishers Weekly

The Method Actors is set in Japan, New York, and New Zealand—places in an age of the global village and pervasive internationalism where many young people find themselves in transit. The story traces the disappearance of a young military historian named Michael Edwards from his desk in Tokyo. His sister Meredith returns to the city in search of him and there she meets up with old friends and acquaintances from all over the world: ex-JET exchange teachers from Canada, ex-drug addicts from Australia, drug dealers from the Netherlands, young American women with Japanese husbands, French kitchen hands, young Japanese mushroom growers, and wealthy young Chinese-Americans living the high life.

Meredith begins to encounter increasing evidence that Michael has been involved in a secret history going back through Japanese war crimes in China in World War II to the quarantining of Dutch merchants on manmade islands during Japan’s period of isolationism in the seventeenth century. The secret history works as a juxtaposition to the moral ambiguity of modern gaijin life in Tokyo.

Stylistically daring, this multilevel narrative and cutting-edge debut novel questions no less than the moral framework of our modern world.

About Carl Shuker

CARL SHUKER graduated from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand in December, 1998. He began writing fulltime living on the dole, New Zealand’s social welfare program, which afforded him NZ$120 (about US$70) a week to live, half of which was rent. He returned to New Zealand to pursue a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at Victoria University of Wellington, where he studied at the International Institute of Modern Letters (affiliated with the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and the Iowa School of Creative Writing.) He now lives in Tokyo.


Lost in Translation for the noir crowd: a carefully plotted tale of a decidedly postmodern bent.” —Kirkus

“Shuker’s dizzying debut shimmers with authentic detail, an uncanny, otherworldly sense of place and a cast of believably hardcore hipsters.” —Publishers Weekly

“[A] probing and imaginative debut novel, which possesses the frisson of Alex Garland’s The Beach(1997) and a profound moral valence. How do we distinguish between the roles people play and their authentic selves? How contrived is history? How do we live with the knowledge of horrors such as the Japanese atrocities? Shuker poses daunting questions of conscience and compassion.” —Booklist

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