The nine stories in this collection are, chronologically, about childhood, adolescence, youth and middle age. All the stories locations are either centered in Japan or America both. In these stories, a lone boy encounters a policeman, the son of a failed writer struggles to be as great as Hemmingway, a young man and a woman have a short and intense affair on a train, An art dealer loses his love and cooks fish for the first time, A Japan scholar struggles in American academia, A Japanese professor battles with her rival as her daughter vanishes, An adulterous American starts a new life in Japan, A Long Island wife tries to get back her husband after he has run off to Japan. Betrayal plays a central role in these stories about civil duty, avocation, love, marriage and friendship. There is despair and desperation in these stories but also hope, if only a faint hope.