26th April 2017

New thriller explores complexity of cross-cultural relationships in Japan

New thriller explores complexity of cross-cultural relationships in Japan - Win a signed copy of the novel plus an exclusive set of four 5 x 7 illustration prints!
In post-tsunami Japan, a missing child continues to haunt his parents long after the waves have receded.

The 2011 tsunami and resulting meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is now regarded as the world’s worst-ever nuclear disaster. The horrific event left more than 16,000 people dead and tens of thousands more displaced – their homes destroyed, their villages contaminated.

The new novel by Dublin writer Zelda Rhiando – Fukushima Dreams – is set against the backdrop of this horror:
Sachiko lives with her husband and infant son Tashi in a small coastal village. Both are struggling to adapt to life as new parents. When their village is hit, Sachiko awakes to find her family missing. After a fruitless search she is forced to leave the area due to radiation fallout. She moves to Tokyo, and a different life.

Sachiko’s husband Harry had already planned to leave. He uses the disaster as cover, and flees to a mountain refuge where he lives, hovering on the border of sanity and haunted by the spirit of their son. Eventually Harry is forced to return, and both he and Sachiko must confront the ghosts of their past.

“A book that breaches many aspects of what it is that makes us human – memory, loss and sanity – Fukushima Dreams combines the pace and anticipation of a thriller with the compassion of a Toni Morrison."

The novel is the result of Rhiando’s intense journey through the devastated Japanese countryside.

“Writers like Haruki Murukami, Ryu Murukami, Banana Yoshimoto and Hideo Furukawa inspired me with a love of the culture and philosophy. And I loved the darkness of them: they weren't afraid to look human frailty in the eye. Travelling around Japan to research the book took me to places I wasn't expecting - mentally and physically. It is a testament to the strength, resilience and determination of the Japanese people that they have reconstructed so much, but there is still a lot to do.” she says.

To be in with a chance of winning the novel and prints, please send your name and email address to:

The competition will end at midnight on Friday 30 June 2017. A random draw will be held on 1 July, after which the winner will be announced and notified.

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