Red Oblivion is now available in bookstores

Leslie Shimotakahara

Praise for After the Bloom:

"Shimotakahara joins a rank of garlanded Canadian authors who've offered their skill and kindness to casual readers: tough stuff packaged in solid fiction that edifies as it enthrals, emotion indelible and set deep in stories we might otherwise prefer to forget."  ​National Post

"[A] compelling work of historical fiction that scrutinizes how the experience and conditions of
internment had a shattering cultural effect on Japanese Americans. Shimotakahara’s writing is personal and entrancing, unflinchingly shining a light on this difficult part of history."

Booklist starred review

"Leslie Shimotakahara's novel is a poignant exploration of mothers and daughters, secrets and lovers, and the brutal legacy of Japanese internment."   Book Riot

"A compelling tale of hearts and minds caught in the tumult of history, memory and love, across generations. A sweeping page-turner."    Kerri Sakamoto, author of Floating City

"A masterful and deeply moving tale of mothers and daughters, of hidden histories and repressed memories, of loss and of love, After the Bloom is a potent reminder of the legacy of the internment and the power of reclaiming the past."     Lynne Kutsukake, author of The Translation of Love

"After the Bloom offers characters of exacting specificity, ones who destroy pat generalizations and reveal the particular people, families, and faces that were stereotyped, amassed, depersonalized, and sometimes destroyed by this oft-overlooked moment in history. Lily's disappearance opens the ruptures—literal and metaphorical—that occur as part of intergenerational trauma in a story that offers its own brutal, beautiful reparation."     Foreword Reviews

​"Awareness of this novel's topic is necessary for anyone living in today's world. After the Bloom presents an affecting inside view of what Japanese-Americans endured, both within the camps and afterward."       Historical Novels Review

​"Shimotakahara writes with refined sensitivity about the fragility of human nature, and how such vulnerability can transform into strength in the name of love."     ​Ottawa Review of Books

Praise for Red Oblivion:

"Shimotakahara displays virtuosity in this subtle deconstruction of one family's tainted origins.... A heartbreaking story in which the past haunts the present and bleeds into the future."  Kirkus Review

​"The author's storytelling skills are impressive, painting a vivid image of past and present against a backdrop of complex family dynamics.... Fans of literary historical fiction will enjoy this compelling story."     ​Library Journal

"Red Oblivion is a stirring tribute to Hong Kong and the role it served as a haven for refugees or anyone wishing to make a new start. Shimotakahara's descriptions of the territory are vivid and dreamy in the way that make us all long for a simpler time."    Cha: An Asian Literary Journal

"Celeste and Jill Lau only begin to learn the truth about their father when they rush from Toronto to his hospital bedside in Hong Kong. Stubbornly silent about his early years in China, their Ba has been receiving threats that allude to a crime in his past, but still refuses to explain. Red Oblivion is one of the most masterful narratives I've ever read about a horrific chapter in China's history, told through an intricate, mesmerizing tale of family and identity. Leslie Shimotakahara's writing is both beautiful and bruising."     Janie Chang, author of Dragon Springs Road

"Haunting and true to life, Red Oblivion will captivate readers. Shimotakahara skillfully weaves history and imagination to tell a story about a daughter's quest to unravel her father's complicated past so that others can understand its far-reaching influence on their present lives. A strong narrative voice draws us into a world of secrets, sacrifices, and betrayals, transporting readers from Canada to Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China -- only to find that the complex truths that bind friendships and families are often universal."     Ann Y.K. Choi, author of Kay's Lucky Coin Variety

​"A story about life in contemporary Hong Kong as well as the region’s complicated history with mainland China, Red Oblivion feels particularly relevant to read in this current moment."   Booktrib 

"I started reading Leslie Shimotakahara’s Red Oblivion in an airline waiting room with a storm brewing outside and found myself welcoming a flight delay because I might be able to keep reading for an extra couple of hours. In other words, it’s a very compelling book!"          49th Shelf

"Red Oblivion is a beautifully written, gripping mystery which captures the struggles between generations, times, and places. Shimotakahara skillfully illustrates the internal conflicts of daughters with modern Canadian sensibilities challenged by age-old Chinese familial expectations. Detailed renderings of today's Hong Kong provide a fascinating backdrop for this engrossing tale of the continuing legacy of the Cultural Revolution. A literary page-turner. Shimotakahara's best work to date."    Julia Lin, author of Shadows of the Crimson Sun

​"Weaves together a complex family drama of a woman piecing together her father's past while trying not to compromise his reputation or her ideas of him."      ​Nikkei Voice