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December 14 , 2009

Red Chrysanthemum: A novel of Occupied Japan


Alexander Rada doesn’t want to be called Alexander, or Alex for that matter – Rada will do just fine. It’s the summer of 1945, and army Lieutenant Rada has just arrived in Tokyo to witness the official surrender of Japan to the Allied Forces on the deck of the battleship Missouri.

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Rada has a history. He was a cop in L.A. before the war. A disgraced cop. Along the way, he learned to speak Japanese, and now he’s working at GHQ as a translator for General MacArthur. To almost everyone’s surprise, Rada is transferred to the military police to stop an assassination of a top communist. And the thing is, Rada just hates communists. He finds himself attached to a Japanese partner working for the Occupation forces – and even more attached to a unique, beautiful Japanese woman. Love is in the air, and Rada is bound to mess it up.

Henry Mazel has brought Occupied Japan vividly to life in RED CHRYSANTHEMUM. It is both a humorous novel and a dead-on history lesson of the period. Through the pristine snowy mountaintops of Northern Japan, to the collapsed smokestacks, charred factories, and twisted metal presiding over a moribund Tokyo, get ready for a thrilling adventure where nothing is what it seems and no one is to be trusted – maybe not even Rada himself.

“A Remarkable book. A landmark novel. Mazel captures the feel and pulse of post-war Japan. An extraordinarily engaging and imaginative work. Perhaps the best Occupation novel since ‘Where are the Victors.’”
– Daya Benn (The Spruence Center)

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