Born in New Jersey, Alex Austin now lives in California, where he teaches middle school in Los Angeles. Prior to teaching, he worked as a journalist and editor at several publications. His writing has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers, and his plays have been produced in Los Angeles, Portland and other cities. His play Mimosa is published by Playscripts Inc. His novel NAKAMURA REALITY is published by The Permanent Press. Austin is a graduate of UCLA and has an MA in history from CSUN.
To understand Japanese culture requires reading between the lines. This is Hugh Mcpherson's challenge in Nakamura Reality, a beguiling blend of mystery, odyssey, inconsolable loss and obsession.
Absenting himself for a brief intimacy with a former girlfriend, Hugh leaves his surfing-obsessed sons on an isolated California beach. When he returns, the eleven-year-old twins have vanished. A ferocious riptide has swept Takumi and Hitoshi out to sea, their bodies unrecovered.
Devastated by the loss, Hugh and his Japanese wife Setsuko divorce. Severing all ties to America, Setsuko returns to Japan to live with her father, Kazuki Ono, a prominent author of mind-bending novels.
After grieving for ten years and longing for Setsuko, Hugh swims out to sea to drown himself. As he sinks, his sons appear to him, holding the last letter that he had sent to their mother, begging her forgiveness.
Abandoning his suicide, Hugh swims back to shore. The incident awakens memories that throw doubt on the accepted version of his sons' deaths. His doubts are intensified when he learns that Kazuki Ono has come to California to finish a novel called Fingal's Cave, the tale of a brash American who marries a Japanese woman against the wishes of her father, a powerful businessman with ties to the Yakuza.
Provoked by his memories and obliquely revealing passages found in Kazuki's books, Hugh begins a Quixotic journey across the California landscape, encountering numerous characters of ill-will and cross-purpose, but who inexorably lead him toward a film-industry firm called Nakamura Reality, and a labyrinth that challenges him to separate reality from fiction to find his way out... and perhaps back to his sons.