Scary Ghost Lady“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?

Machiko Kyō as Lady Wakasa in Ugetsu Monogatari