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Home > Author > Gregory Wheeler
 
Gregory Wheeler

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Member Since: Aug, 2008

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Desperately hoping not to end up like the young man he writes about.


Background Information

I've lived in Japan for some time now, teaching a variety of courses, ranging from basic English courses on the four learning skills, to more interesting ones (at least to me) such as Japanese literature and those that center on the manner in which Japan is depicted in other countries (through such channels as the media, cinema and the internet).

There are many novels available these days about foreigners living in Japan, most of which follow a "fish out of the water" type theme. In general, these stories depict the foreigner as bewildered by what he or she considers the odd customs of Japan, with the overall impression being that the foreigner is "normal" and that the Japanese are the ones who should change their habits. I thought it would be interesting to write from a somewhat different viewpoint, one in which the foreigner was more at fault than his host country for the problems he encounters. In the two books--The Bridge Across the Pacific and The Land Beyond--Marvin Matthews, the "hero" of the novels, is a despicable person. He is unhappy in the country, and through his own (numerous) faults, becomes increasingly more miserable, which results in escalating hardships as the story progresses.

Although both novels are fiction, it may be worth noting that much of what occurs in the stories is based--at least loosely--on actual events, or at least fit into Japan's foreign population's urban myths category.

 



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