Winner of FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize

A novel about two teenage lovers who disrupt a World War II internment camp in Arizona

Kane Araki and Margaret Morri are not only the names of teenage lovers living in a World War II Japanese relocation camp. Kane Araki is also the name of a man who, mysteriously, sprouts a pair of black raven’s wings overnight. Margaret Morri is the name of the aging healer who treats embarrassing conditions (smelly feet and excessive flatulence). It’s also the name of an eleven-year-old girl who communes with the devil, trading human teeth for divine wishes.

In The Book of Kane and Margaret, dozens of Kane Arakis and Margaret Morris populate the Canal and Butte camp divisions in Gila River. Amidst their daily rituals and family dramas, they find ways to stage quiet revolutions against a domestic colonial experience. Some internees slip through barbed wire fences to meet for love affairs. Others attempt to smuggle whiskey, pornography, birds, dogs, horses, and unearthly insects into their family barracks. And another seeks a way to submerge the internment camp in Pacific seawater.


About the Author
Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi writes dreampop speculative fictions that can be enjoyed on a bus ride or in line for coffee. All his best stories have something to do with talking insects. He is author of Disintegration Made Plain and Easy.

“Araki-Kawaguchi’s inventive, surreal novel in stories (after Disintegration Made Plain and Easy) follows a group of characters who leave the bounds of a WWII-era Japanese internment camp through magic and mischief. . . . This beautifully rendered reflection on a dark moment of American history will appeal to fans of literary speculative fiction.”
Publisher’s Weekly

“Araki-Kawaguchi’s The Book of Kane and Margaret is an important book and a brilliant one. Surreal, moving, and beautifully written. One of my favorite reads of this or any year.”
—Jeff VanderMeer, author of Annihilation


“A wondrous trance—one of those novels that defies the rules to make its own indelible order. Araki-Kawaguchi’s debut is a virtuosic performance of sentences and empathy. Fable, history, slapstick, and a riotous lament—The Book of Kane and Margaret contains it all.”
—Salvador Plascencia, author of The People of Paper
“A dazzling debut from an important new writer. Highly imaginative, bittersweet, astonishing, playful and yet also poignant.”
—Ann VanderMeer, editor of The Big Book of Classic Fantasy
The Book of Kane and Margaret is ravaging—a magical tale of a family shaped by internment , a necessary document of human and narrative inventiveness—an abundance of astonishments, harrowing, coy, joyful, audacious, wise, loving, true. It’s not just a great debut, it’s a great book.”
—Lucy Corin, author of The Swank Hotel