A Novel By
March 11, 2011. A catastrophic earthquake in Japan--a tsunami headed straight for the coast of California. With deep psychological fault lines of his own, Dr. Alex Arai has no idea of the personal upheaval ahead. Before long, the well-respected art history professor will become a graffiti vandal.
Release date: September 14th, 2021
Available now at all major booksellers:
Andrew Kumasaka was born in Chicago and grew up in Seattle. An eclectic psychiatrist, he retired after thirty years in private practice. His poems have appeared in various literary journals.
He contributed a chapter to Flowing Bridges, Quiet Waters, a clinical book about Morita Therapy, a Japanese form of psychotherapy.
He and his wife live in Soquel, California, with their border collie and two cats. They have two grown sons.
In Praise Of
Like life itself, All Gone Awry, the story of a quest for fulfillment, for an authentic, honest identity, is layered and complex. Kumasaka addresses who gets to be an artist and looks at the transformative power that art-making can have. What does that art look like? What are the risks one is willing or required to take for it? How do family, ethnicity, and cultural history inform and influence our present? And what about romantic love? All Gone Awry is a sweeping story that welcomes contradictions; it movingly prods us to reflect on our own questions of identity, morality, and our place in the world.
Author of My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice: A Guide to Writing Poetry & Speaking Your Truth
All Gone Awry is a literary treat awaiting readers who will enjoy this provocative novel narrating the journey of Alex Arai from staid art history professor to obsessively driven graffiti artist. Risking everything to explore the Postmodern, alternative art world of graffiti, Alex aims to fulfill his dream of authentic self-expression, while wrestling with and redefining his own ethnic identity. But at what cost to his relationships, his career and even his freedom? A psychologically fascinating debut novel by Andrew Kumasaka.
Christine Z. Mason, Novelist
Author of Boundaries, Weighing the Truth, and The Ancient Stone City
Andrew Kumasaka's All Gone Awry is fearlessly original: a sensitively written and timely novel that explores the complex maze of identity and belonging— and the critical role art can play to help us find our way.
Derek Conrad Murray,
Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture; University of California, Santa Cruz
“Deceptively engrossing, All Gone Awry is fun and perceptive, with an engaging cast of
characters. The prose pulls you in, and the plot feels light-hearted. But Kumasaka is a very smart
writer. By the time you’re turning the pages as fast as possible, you realize there’s a wealth of
life here, as a series of complex and surprising events, ideas and revelations take hold. All Gone
Awry tells one hell of a great story, to be sure, even as it dives deep into the role of art in any and
every life. Kumasaka revels in the pleasures of dissonance, the distance between who we think
we are and who we find ourselves to be. He takes us from a quiet life to bigger than life, from
embarrassment and shame to joy and success so seamlessly that we as readers realize only
afterwards that the journey is ours as well.”
Monterey Bay radio host and podcast creator for Narrative Species
“2021 marked the 10th anniversary of one of the deadliest natural disasters of the 21st century,
often referred to as 3/11, when a massive undersea earthquake struck off the coast of Japan,
triggering a nuclear meltdown crisis and an enormous tsunami that brought more death and
destruction than the quake itself…. Those living in Santa Cruz County at the time might
remember that the tsunami was large enough to reach the West Coast of the United States…. The
3/11 tragedy is a compelling literal illustration of the metaphor at the heart of environmentalism,
that a disruption anywhere globally can cause ripples locally. It’s also the inspiration and
jumping-off point of a new novel by writer Andrew Kumasaka.”
Nationally syndicated newspaper writer, Lookout Santa Cruz
correspondent, and author of A light in the Midst of Darkness, The Last Temptation of
Lincoln, and Rhymes with Vain
Reviews and Podcasts
1. The International Examiner [Seattle]
2. Rick Kleffel's review of the book and podcast interview:
3. Wallace Baine for Lookout Santa Cruz:
An exploration of heritage: Author links Santa Cruz, Japan through art, catastrophe in new novel
All Gone Awry Playlist
1. "Arrow" by Kathryn Calder [Official video]
2. "Lazy Eye" by the Silversun Pickups
3. "Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk" by The New Pornographers
4. "It's Nice to Know You Work Alone" by the Silversun Pickups
5. "Mind Over Matter" by Ice-T
6. "Echo Home" by The Kills