Foreign Husband

Clive Collins, Author Marion Boyars Publishers $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7145-2893-9
Bleak, intense and darkly fascinating, Collins's debut novel concerns David Kennedy, an unhappy Englishman whose mood deteriorates when he arrives in Japan to teach at a prestigious university. Having accepted the position from financial desperation, David feels alienated by Tokyo's ``crowds, the flash commerciality, the filth underfoot.'' A colleague and casual friend, Jack Stevens, shares David's disgust with Japan's ``irredeemably corrupt'' population, while Stevens's wife blasts the country's overt racism. Serious personal problems also contribute to David's moroseness. His wife's infidelity ended the Kennedys' 12-year marriage, leaving David adrift in anger, self-pity and loneliness. To distract himself, he starts tutoring an emotionally unstable young divorcee, Megumi Iwase, whose life has been nearly destroyed by tragedies. Sympathy for her and affection for her little girl move David to marry Megumi, but this magnanimous act triggers further misery. Though well-written and engrossing, this is nevertheless a jarringly negative, cynical, disparaging book that slams the Japanese. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/06/1989
Release date: 07/01/1989
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