Today we travel in our search for new writers. Now, when I say new, it doesn’t necessarily mean new as in inexperienced, but new as in a delight to the brain, a treat we’ve never had before, a book we want to read while riding the “A” train, the ferry to Long Island, or the Shuttle-That-Is-No-More (except in our dreams) or maybe, just maybe, the bullet train in Japan.
Getting Oriented: A Novel about Japan is by Wally Wood. Mr. Wood is a professional writer and a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, with 19 business books to his credit. This is his first published novel and it is about one of his passions: Japan. The main character of the book, Phil Fletcher, also shares Mr. Wood’s infatuation with a country steeped in tradition and yet, rushing to embrace the modern age. A nation of contradictions. When I read this book, I felt as if I were part of the group that Phil is unexpectedly shepherding on a twelve day tour of Japan. Like any group of people, they’ve all got their problems, and despite his efforts to remain aloof, Phil gets involved, which helps him deal with his own issues. We can’t help but root for him as he tries to understand the lemons that life has handed him.
Japan has gone through some rough times recently, what with the tsunami and earthquakes, and Getting Oriented is a gentle return to the days before all those troubles. Definitely a book worth reading.
Wally Wood also does a blog about Japan and writing. Check it out HERE. You can read the first chapter of his book there.
Upcoming on A Writing Primate will be an interview with this author.