Mama’s Night Out

On Sunday afternoon I took the bus to Osaka to attend Tracy Slater’s second Four Stories event. The Savannah Bar and Grill was being remodeled, so this time the readings were held at Portugalia, which served – you guessed it – Portugese cuisine. I went armed with a subway map of the city and an email message from Tracy, and I thought that since I’d been in the area seven years ago, I’d be able to find my way to the venue. Well, I wound up walking in circles around Umeda for about an hour and a half. I asked for directions five or six times, but Umeda is so darn confusing. Happily, I managed to stumble into the restaurant just before the readings began. This time, the readers were Jessica Goodfellow, who read an amazing essay about her obsessive-compulsive disorder following the near death of her son in a car crash; John Eidswick, who read a story called “Daughters of Hiroshima”; Canadian Michael Hoffman, who apparently flew down from Hokkaido to read from his new novel Nectar Fragments; and American-born Canadian Hillel Wright, a former commercial fisherman and hippie who read from his new novel about a Japanese manga artist who defies the emperor.

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