Huddled beneath the volcanoes of the Kirishima mountain range in southern Japan—also called the Fog Island Mountains—the inhabitants of small town Komachi are waiting for the biggest of the summer’s typhoons. South African expatriate Alec Chester has lived in Komachi for nearly forty years. Alec considers himself an ordinary man, with common troubles and mundane achievements—until his doctor gives him a terminal cancer diagnosis and his wife, Kanae, disappears into the gathering storm. Kanae’s willful avoidance of the truth leads her to commit a grave infidelity, and only when Alec is suspected of checking himself out of the hospital to commit a quiet suicide, does Kanae come home to face what it will mean to lose her husband.
Narrating this story is Azami, one of Komachi’s oldest and most peculiar inhabitants, the daughter of a famous storyteller with a mysterious story of her own.
A haunting and beautiful reinterpretation of the Japanese kitsune folktale tradition, Fog Island Mountains is a novel about the dangers of action taken in grief and of a belief in healing through storytelling.
Fog Island Mountains won the first ever Christopher Doheny Award from The Center for Fiction (sponsored by Audible). You can read more about the award here.
And you can read an excerpt at Daily Dose of Lit.
Pub date: 4 November 2014, Tantor Media