Monday, July 2, 2007

American Fuji Fan Question

Which man do you think is better suited for Gaby: Alex or Eguchi?

Tell me what you think! (Warning: comments contain spoilers.)


Cara Bradley said...

That's an interesting question. I alway assumed Alex was better suited to Gaby as I could foresee romance developing between them. Without that fact, for me, Alex seemed more suited. Gaby and Alex helped each other in different ways, Alex helped Gaby open up and Gaby helped Alex understand Japanese culture (aside from both helping each other with their issues respectively, Cody's death and Gaby's health). They identified with each other as both being gaijin and not quite fitting in. Eguchi doesn't seem to know Gaby as a person, only as an employee. He is flamboyant and involved with the mob, qualities that don't seem too compatible with Gaby. On the other hand, love is completely unpredictable sometimes, as is connection and attraction so I guess you never know! Maybe if Gaby and Eguchi had a relationship Gaby would feel more accepted in Japanese society.
On a separate note, I am yet to decide the element language plays in a relationship. Is someone better suited simply because they speak your language as their first language and therefore communication is easier/clearer/'flawless'? Do you feel closer to them? Did Gaby feel she shared something with Alex that she couldn't with Eguchi? I have many friends overseas and we communicate in English, language isn't a barrier so maybe it doesn't matter?????
Cara =)

PS. I enjoyed reading your book and the information on Japanese culture .

Anonymous said...

This question and the wonderful answer above makes me realize I need to re-read the book. I've always thought Gaby and Alex were just right for each other. Part of that rightness could come from me being a big romance reader and seeing the literal romance in any book.


hm said...

I just finished American Fuji and it was greatly enjoyed; not the romance aspect as much as the cultural dis-exchange/exchange.
Since I believe the sequel must take place in Japan, the dynamics between Eguchi and gaijin Gaby already preclude the continuation of the cultural phenomena.

Anonymous said...

I definitely think that Alex is better suited. Eguchi might be an interesting person or her to know on a long term friendship basis, but I think that culturally each of their backrounds was too different from the other. Their commonality was "Gone With The Wind", but other than that I don't see a romance ensuing. Alex, on the other hand, has past issues similar to Gaby. They are both divorced, they both seem to be loners, independent, and not connected to family ties. The only one Alex seemed to have was Cody. His loss of Cody and her loss of her physical health were something that allowed them to comfort each other.

I appreciated your insight and telling of the culture of the Japanese. It added so much to the relationships of the characters and why they did what they did. Even down to the food items. I've been to Japan, and it truely is different. One thing that really stuck out for me personally was the conversation Alex and Gaby were having about the letters he sent to the college regarding his son's death, and receiving no answer. The reply that Gaby gave him was that no answer was the answer. I had not thought in that way before, but it is a cultural thing with the Japanese. I have to keep that in mind. Doma arigato.

I will be anxious to read a sequel if you write one!!
Good luck!! Moshi, moshi!!


Anonymous said...

Alex! Why? Well, he is intensely perceptive & deeply aware of her both as a person & as a woman. He compares her to one of del Sarto's grisailles, buys her peonies that match the pink of the lotus blossoms in her wall scroll, appreciates the fact that she listens to the bubbles in her ginger ale, admires her refusal to dissemble or prevaricate, and is drawn to her compassionate nature. He also completely accepts her IBD. He recognizes that she's highly intelligent and literate; he acknowledges that her assistance is invaluable.
Eguchi sees Gaby as an extremely valuable employee, and shows her preferential treatment, but -- she is not Japanese. Therein lies the rub.


Crwys Harris said...

Hi Sara...

Just read your book and I enjoyed it so much I couldn't put it down and it took like 4 days to read. (That's not much for someone who's dyslexic and finds books usually boring and a good way to put me to sleep. Your's actually kept me awake and I teach like 7 hours a day)

Anyhoople...I currently teach in Korea (that's South Korea and not North ad people back home usually ask) and I could really relate to the book as I had some of those culture shock moments and could understand why people have that kind of problem living or visiting other countries. Although Japan seems to be a (Wait for the bad grammar) more crazy place compared to Japan. Maybe because I've lived here for almost 3 years and in Hong Kong for 18 years (I'm from Wales by the way).

I fell in love with both of the main characters in the book and loved the way everything just fell into place in the book. The way everyone had their problems and how they went about trying to find the truth and live their lives through fate.

I've never actually thought i'd love a book so much that I would want to read it again but yours I will read it again (Girlfriend is reading it while she is on holiday in Bali (That's Thailand and not North Korea for all you people back home).

Anyway I thought I would write a short(ish) thank you note for writing such a wonderful book which actually makes me want to go to Japan and live/teach. But I have to go to New Zealand for a year to get my teaching degree which will be in 2010 and then to Canada for 2 years to fullfill(spl) my residency obligations (I applied for Canadian residency and they gave it to me).

Thank you very much

Crwys Harris

Anonymous said...

As I completely relate to Alex, he is my choice. And, I remember Eguchi saying "Ah Gabe, if only you were Japanese." To me that says it all. I also agree that his connections do not suit Gabe's convictions.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I finished your book recently and found it enjoyable. Though it seems all of the commenters prefer Gaby to be with Alex, I think it would be so much more interesting if Eguchi and Gaby tried to make a go at it. Of course, that would've completely changed the book, since for 90% of the book, Eguchi was eccentric, but otherwise he kept his emotional distance from the readers and his other employees. He wasn't even raised as a possible love interest until the very, very end. But once those few hints were thrown in? WOW. I thought he would have been kickass. His type-- oddball, intelligent, poor kid who clawed his way out of a deadend future, laid back yet capable of intensity, and generosity to Gaby despite the problems it would cause for him...and overall a good guy despite being a yakuza? Way more interesting than Alex, sorry.

Sara Backer said...

I'm glad you posted, Anonymous--don't be sorry! When Eguchi says "there is a small bistro in Dotombori that floats lanterns on the waterway" that is tantamount to saying he loves her, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Oh hey, stumbled back here after many months...didn't realize you would reply (I am the Anonymous on April 14). :P Seems like in the interim, your book is being re-issued. Congratulations!

I don't remember when/where Egushi talks about the bistro (the book is at home), but probably at the time I read that line, I thought he was being oblique and random and why-don't-I-move-on-to-something-straightforward-now. Not to say I don't like subtle; I love love it if I had to choose between it and a random Western romance where the guy and gal profess undying and irrepressable love/lust within the first pages. But's like...give me a SOMETHING to chew on!

I don't suppose you have anything else in the works that relates to an interracial experience? These sort of culture clashes are a personal interest of mine..