Thursday, April 6, 2017

No-No Boy by John Okada



I read somewhere in the before and after material of the University of Washington edition of No-No Boy that John Okada's family urged his wife to discard his writing after his death from a heart attack at age 47. She burned all of his manuscripts and journals, so that the already published No-No Boy and a note about a page in length are all that remain of the writing of the first Japanese-American novelist. 

On the other hand I've noticed a peculiar lack of interest from friends and family in my manuscripts, journals, papers, and Walter Kaufmann mass-market paperback Nietzsches kept chilled in an unheated storage space in North Philadelphia. The rent continues to inch ahead there, but not once has a storage-space manager called to alert me to the busy clangs of manic relatives beating on the lock and door of my space, intent on setting fire to my literary remains. For now, my papers survive, as do I, soon to make it past the goalpost of 47 although I haven't helped my chances with recent entree and sandwich selections.

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