Two Nails, One Love
By Alden M. Hayashi
The book opens in New York City with the narrator-Ethan Taniguchi, a Japanese-American gay man in his early forties-awaiting the arrival of his mother from Hawaii. The two have been estranged for more than a decade, and the reunion is fraught with past grievances bubbling to the surface. After a fateful ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty, Ethan's mother reluctantly reveals details of her shattered childhood-her family's imprisonment in a concentration camp in Arkansas in World War II, followed by a deportation to Japan, where she witnesses the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Ethan's past is also revealed-painful memories of a forsaken career in music and a delayed coming out at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Eventually, both mother and son come to understand the complex and subtle ways that their lives are intertwined, with the past reverberating powerfully through the present.