Edited by Susan Gardner. These twenty–three short stories reaffirm author Gordon Ball's absorption with, and illumination of, "vanished" people, places, and times. Following on the heels of three memoirs, ON TOKYO'S EDGE re–creates the texture of life among a rarefied group of relatively isolated foreigners in American–Occupied Japan and the decade following Occupation. Peopling these interrelated short fictions are a great range of vivid characters, including schoolmates, lovers, military men, chemistry teachers, maids, a lustful preacher, and a missionary of exemplary character. Many of the tales focus on young Robert La Salle, suddenly transplanted at age five to a culture 8,000 miles distant and who, as year follows year, confronts levels of "foreignness" within himself and his family as well as the strange larger world around him.
"ON TOKYO'S EDGE is a wonderful collection of stories about a young boy coming of age in a foreign land. The stories draw us into his world and let us learn with him what happens when two cultures collide. Ball's gentle, patient nature and his affection for this vanished world shines through vivid and undimmed by time. Beautifully written, it's a book I couldn't put down." — Bill Morgan
"ON TOKYO'S EDGE gorgeously evokes the privileged world of American expats in 1950's Occupied Japan. Among them is Robert La Salle, a young boy, uncomfortably aware of being an outsider in a defeated country and keenly alert to adult foibles. In crisp, ringing detail, the story reveals a tightly–knit American community that is reshaping Japan even as Japan refashions its place in the world. Like the re–emerging nation, Robert is coming of age. His progress is poignant, funny, and vastly entertaining." — Cary Holladay
"Gordon Ball has proven himself to be a first–rate memoirist, whether he's recalling his role as an observer/participant in the mid–Sixties New York alternative film community (66 Frames) or remembering his job at controlling the mayhem of Allen Ginsberg's upstate New York farm (East Hill Farm). In this collection of short stories, he has taken the shards of his memory as a youth growing up in Japan, shaped then with the tools of fiction, and crafted them into wonderful tales and anecdotes. He has accomplished what good fiction sets out to do." — Michael Schumacher