Picking Bones from Ash: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This intriguing mother/daughter tale spans a broad emotional range, providing insight into cultural boundaries through believable characters and just the right level of narrative tension. Enjoy a journey through Japan, to Paris, and to San Francisco in the capable hands of this debut novelist.

— From Emily A.


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 - by Marie Mutsuki Mockett - examines the power and limitations of female talent in our globalized world.

About the Author

Marie Mutsuki Mockett was born to a Japanese mother and an American father. Her Japanese family owns and runs a Buddhist temple that has, among other things, performed exorcisms. This is her first novel.

Praise For…

“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

Product Details
ISBN: 9781555975760
ISBN-10: 1555975763
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: February 1st, 2011
Pages: 320
Language: English