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Book Breaks

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 18:15 - 20:30

NUCLEAR-BLUES- triptych croppedsmall SmilingAuthor

"On an early fall day when Washington, Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing were in an uproar over the latest North Korean outrage, a U.S. Forces van propelled me and three other camera people past the scenic barbed wire and tank traps, fire bases and checkpoints of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Once again I contemplated the zone's howling misnomer, but the thought no longer triggered a smile. That's how old the border story was. I couldn't complain. My band had no gigs scheduled for the next few days. All I was thinking was, I'd earn my shooting fee from AsiaIntel and get back to my music. I could use the money."

Thus begins Bradley Martin's novel Nuclear Blues. Although burnt-out photojournalist Heck Davis has switched to a new career as a blues musician, seeing his reporter pal gunned down at the 38th parallel drives him back into the fray. Dodging attempts on his own life, the bourbon-drinking, Bible-quoting, black-talking son of a white Mississippian father and Korean mother searches for answers in the heart of darkness otherwise known as North Korea.

Longtime Asia correspondent and former FCCJ officer Martin previously authored a comprehensive history of the Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il regimes, Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty. That critically acclaimed volume published in 2004 and described by the New York Review of Books as "simply the best book ever written on North Korea," was translated into Japanese as Kitachosen 'Idai na Ai' no Maboroshi(「北朝鮮『偉大な愛』の幻」青灯社) and won the Asia-Pacific Special Book Prize (アジア・太平洋賞(特別賞))sponsored by The Mainichi Shimbun. The author sees Nuclear Blues as a fictional sequel, bringing the story into the Kim Jong-un era. As a journalist, he has covered Korea and other parts of Asia for four decades. He worked as bureau chief for The Baltimore Sun, The Asian Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Asia Times and Asian Financial Intelligence. He was chief Pyongyang watcher for Bloomberg News.

Bradley Martin will appear with Rambling Steve Gardner, renowned for his American roots and blues music as well as his photography, who is a partial model for the Heck Davis character.

The library committee is offering a cocktail party – "Meet the Author" – starting at 6:15 pm, followed by dinner at 6:45 pm (Menu:Grilled Chicken with Marmalade and Soy Sauce, served with Sautéed Young Corn, Andes Potato, Broccoli, Eggplant and Tomato / Green Salad / Bread / Royal Milk Tea Pound Cake / Coffee or Tea). Drinks can be ordered on a cash basis from the bar in the room. Book Break charges are 2,100yen / 3,500yen (members / non-members) per person. The member price is applicable to members' guests.

To FCCJ members: Sign up now at the reception desk (03-3211-3161) or on the FCCJ website. To help us plan proper seating and food preparation, please reserve in advance, preferably by noon of the day of the event. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled. Reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be charged in full.

To non-members:
Sign up now at the reception desk by mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). Please reserve and pay in advance by Thursday, October 19th. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled. No refund is available unless event is cancelled for the reasons on our part.


(The Talk will be in English)


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