“How unfortunate that you did not tell me all this before! Your wonderful skill in music has indeed brought you into strange trouble.”
—Lafcadio Hearn, “The Story of Mimi-Nashi Hōichi” (Kwaidan, 1904)
Strange Trouble is an in-progress collection of short stories inspired by the work of Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), the Greek-Irish-American-Japanese writer who adapted many Japanese ghost stories and folk tales into English.
The idea for the book first came to me back in 2007, when I saw Masaki Kobayashi’s psychedelic 1965 film Kwaidan, which adapted four of Hearn’s stories. I completed a draft of the collection in the fall of 2019. A few of the stories have been published; of them, “Brocade” is available online.
I’ll update this page when I have more news about the manuscript!
About the image above: The single best Halloween I’ve ever experienced was in 2017, when I was an artist-in-residence at Djerassi. A bunch of us dressed in costume for the occasion and took a night hike into the woods and told ghost stories. I went as the spooky woman from Ugetsu Monogatari, the brilliantly eerie 1953 film by Kenji Mizoguchi. A still from the film is below. How’d I do?