Robert W. Norris is a Vietnam War conscientious objector, expatriate author, and university teacher living in Japan. He is the author of Looking for the Summer, about a CO's adventures and search for identity on the road from Paris to Calcutta in 1977, Toraware, a psychological drama that centers on the relationship of three misfits from different cultural backgrounds in 1980s Kobe, Japan, and The Many Roads to Japan, a novella/ESL textbook that tells the story of a CO's 14-year search for identity. Norris and his wife live near Fukuoka, Japan, where he is an associate professor at Fukuoka International University. Visit his homepage at http://www2.gol.com/users/norris.
Looking for the Summer
Although continually searching for the happiness and identity he could not find in the U.S., he cannot easily shed his American past. Throughout the journey he is hounded by the demons of memory, particularly that of his father, a World War II hero who disowned David and died while David was still in prison. The story is interspersed with a multitude of characters whose philosophical, political, and religious opinions influence David greatly in his search. The journey itself becomes a physical manifestation of his struggle to achieve reconciliation with his own conscience.
"Robert W. Norris's 'Looking for the Summer' is a graceful autobiographical novel that breathes fresh life into a perennial genre: the spiritual 'bildungsroman.' The theme of a questing expatriate who renounces Western materialism in favor of an exotic pilgrimage to the East will be familiar to anyone who has fallen under the spell of W. Somerset Maugham's 'The Razor's Edge' or Jack Kerouac's 'The Dharma Bums'....
prior to the events of 9/11, it is impossible to pick up
Norris's novel without a heightened interest in its
vividly depicted locales in a part of the world where our
attentions are now so intensely focused. Several
fascinating chapters are devoted to David's stay in
Afghanistan. Written with a novelist's eye for
characterization and a reporter's skill for observation,
'Looking for the Summer' is the kind of small press gem
that is often overlooked but is well worth seeking
out." -- Bob Wake, CultureVulture.net
The Many Roads to
"Goes beyond the 'gaijin' experience." -- The Japan Times
the reader from the opening page." -- Mainichi Daily