Cover image for Stone field, true arrow : a novel
Stone field, true arrow : a novel
Mori, Kyoko.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Metropolitan Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
279 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


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In her debut novel for adults, Kyoko Mori has drawn on ancient myths, reworked with her hallmark lush and lyrical prose, to probe the eternal question: Given the fragility of life, is love too great a risk?

Author Notes

Born in Kobe, Japan, Kyoko Mori settled in Wisconsin at the age of sixteen. Now a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in creative writing at Harvard University, she is the author of the prizewinning "Shizuko's Daughter" & four other books.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Maya Ishida lives a tranquil life in Milwaukee, but when she hears of her father's death, a man she hasn't seen or spoken to since she was 11, Maya begins to question the life she has made for herself. Her husband, Jeff, gives Maya the privacy she desires, but she realizes that they are living two parallel lives. Once she meets Eric, an artist, Maya opens up to him immediately, talking about her feelings and her childhood, something that she could never do with Jeff because of her early separation from her father and her mother's unending criticism. Even her success as a clothes weaver becomes unfulfilling, as she regrets not becoming a painter like her father. Along the way, Maya's close childhood friend, Yuko, is always there to help, as the two women have a special bond. Mori's first adult novel explores the ways that people learn how to express and receive love. --Michelle Kaske

Publisher's Weekly Review

Simple language and strong emotion are effectively used to relate the story of Maya Ishida, a 35-year-old Japanese-American woman who must confront her painful past in order to re-evaluate her safe but soul-crushing present. Maya works as an artisan, weaving cloth and making clothes. She's married to high school English teacher Jeff and they live placidly in Wisconsin, near her childhood friend, Yuko. When Maya is informed that her father, whom she hasn't seen for 25 years, has died in Osaka, it is the enclosed drawing that jars her memory: her artist father drew a picture of the day 10-year-old Maya left Japan to move to Minneapolis with her mother, Kay, who had abandoned her husband and Maya three years earlier. Maya attempts to understand why, after she moved to the States, she never heard from her father again; why the letters she wrote him were returned unopened; why he allowed her to be raised by cruel, selfish Kay, who has tried to erase every trace of her Japanese origins and encourages her daughter to do the same. In the process, Maya comes to terms with her passionless marriage, learning to cope with the fear of being alone and falling in love for the first time. This first foray into adult fiction by YA author and memoirist Mori (Shizuko's Daughter; The Dream of Water) is graceful in its simplicity of language and in the subtle way in which Eastern and Western folk tales are interlaced with the plot line. The pace of the book is perhaps too leisurely, maintaining a calm, unruffled tone even at the emotional apex, but despite the mannered structure, Maya's cultural identity and family history are lucidly invoked, and her struggle emerges as a universal one. 5-city author tour. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The author of Shizuko!s Daughter, a New York Times Best Young Children!s Book, and the memoir Polite Lies, Mori (creative writing, Harvard) unveils her first work of fiction for adults. The story opens with 34-year-old Maya, a Wisconsin artisan, learning of the death of her father in Japan. Throughout, Maya searches her memories to find any evidence of love from her estranged father, an artist with whom she lived in Japan until she was sent to her mother and stepfather in America. In a work revolving around relationships, Mori takes the reader on Maya!s journey of self-discovery. Quiet and reclusive by nature, she undergoes numerous emotional struggles, such as dealing with her twice-divorced mother and confronting the disintegration of her own marriage while flirting with the notion of an impending affair. As a whole, Mori!s work and narration are deeply thoughtful, yet the novel appears to carry one too many story lines, leaving many of her characters somewhat underdeveloped and making them potentially hard to relate to for some readers. This aside, Mori!s work is not without merit and is recommended for larger fiction collections as needed."Shirley N. Quan, Orange Cty. P.L., Santa Ana, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.