The Story of H - A Novel
From an audacious new talent, The Story of H describes a searing quest by a Japanese woman and an American soldier to find a girl who goes missing in the aftermath of Hiroshima, a journey that spans the globe and travels to the darkest corners of the human mind and memory
August 6, 1945: the day Enola Gay unleashed an atomic inferno over Hiroshima. In the wake of its devastation, two stories unfold. There’s Jim, an American soldier who was entrusted with taking care of Yoro, a Japanese girl who then disappears after the atomic bomb falls. And there’s H, a Japanese child who is at school when the bomb drops and is indelibly marked by its destruction. Both victims of the bomb, H and Jim meet for the first time in New York years later—their paths cross by chance, they fall in love, and together they continue Jim’s search for Yoro. A quixotic twenty-first century quest to discover what makes us human, from refugee camps to the slave mines of Africa, from Brazil to Borneo, Japan to Mexico, it’s also a journey that plumbs the depths and heights of cruelty and compassion, vulnerability and violence.
Marina Perezagua’s urgent, incantatory, and highly original novel moves us beyond our understanding of history as broad and sweeping to the individual stories of those who feel joy and pain, who suffer and transcend. Both dazzling and dark, The Story of H pulsates with a terrible beauty and power that lingers with the reader long after the last page.