Unending Nora (Paperback)
Unending Nora Cover Image
Special Order


Unending Nora is a love story, though not in the ordinary sense. Having retreated to the streets of the east San Fernando Valley amidst an intense heat wave, Nora Yano, who has lived the first 29 years of her life as a devout Christian and an outcast, strikes up a relationship with a stranger and experiences sexual intimacy for the first time.

When Nora mysteriously disappears, her best and only friends Caroline and Melissa, each with their own lives to consider, must decide what they re willing to risk to find her. The complications that ensue, along with an unexpected arrival home, set this novel in motion. Beneath the stories of four compelling women, Shigekuni creates in Unending Nora web of ideas concerning the after effects of wartime internment. Fresh out of the camps, a displaced and emotionally scarred generation clustered together to form a community; they even took on a religion in order to adapt to the society that oppressed them. Now their offspring, four young women coming of age in their thirties, must carve their own path.

Unending Nora is a story about finding love through adversity. In an ambitious examination of faith, shame, and desire, Julie Shigekuni takes up where John Okada left off over fifty years ago with his masterpiece No-No Boy to tell the story of a community ready to mark its place in the larger world.

About the Author

Julie Shigekuni is the author of three novels: A Bridge Between Us (Anchor/Doubleday 1995), Invisible Gardens (St. Martin s Press 2003), and Unending Nora (forthcoming from Red Hen Press, Fall 2008). Her fiction has been translated into German, Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian. Shigekuni was a finalist for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award and the recipient of the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. She has received a Henfield Award and an American Japanese Literary Award for her writing. Shigekuni received her B.A. from CUNY Hunter College and her M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. She is currently at work on a collection of inter-connected short stories and a 60-minute video documentary, Manju Mammas & the An-Pan Brigade, for which she has received funding from the California Council for the Humanities and the Skirball Foundation and sponsorship from Visual Communications, an all Asian media network. She teaches fiction and Asian American Literature at the University of New Mexico and lives in Corrales, New Mexico, with her husband and three young daughters."

Praise For…

Julie Shigekuni’s prose is shimmering and hallucinatory.  The beauty of her writing turns the heat and hard times of California into a dreamscape.

-Ann Patchett

In Unending Nora, Julie Shigekuni explores both the stories that connect us and the silences that keep us apart. This graceful and compassionate novel reminds us how we can never fully know the people in our lives, including (and maybe even especially) ourselves.


--Gayle Brandeis, author of The Book of Dead Birds and Self Storage

Product Details
ISBN: 9781597091220
ISBN-10: 1597091227
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication Date: October 1st, 2008
Pages: 301
Language: English