Production‎ > ‎

Gordon Ball


WHO: Red Mountain Press presents Gordon Ball

WHAT: Literary Reading

WHEN: May 21, 5pm

WHERE: Teatro Paraguas, 3205 Calle Marie, Santa Fe, NM, 87507, 505-424-1601

COST: Free, donations to theatre gratefully accepted


Teatro Paraguas and Red Mountain Press are proud to present Gordon Ball reading from his book On Tokyo’s Edge: Gajin Tales from Postwar Japan May 21, 5pm. This reading is a continuation of our work with Red Mountain Press and the literary community.


These twenty-three short stories reaffirm author Gordon Ball’s absorption with, and illumination of, “vanished” people, places, and times.  Following on the heels of three memoirs, On Tokyo’s Edge re-creates the texture of life among a rarefied group of relatively isolated foreigners in American-Occupied Japan and the decade following Occupation. Peopling these interrelated short fictions are a great range of vivid characters, including schoolmates, lovers, military men, chemistry teachers, maids, a lustful preacher, and a missionary of exemplary character.  Many of the tales focus on young Robert La Salle, suddenly transplanted at age five to a culture 8,000 miles distant and who, as year follows year, confronts levels of “foreignness” within himself and his family as well as the strange larger world around him. 


On Tokyo's Edge is a wonderful collection of stories about a young boy coming of age in a foreign land. The stories draw us into his world and let us learn with him what happens when two cultures collide.  Ball's gentle, patient nature and his affection for this vanished world shines through vivid and undimmed by time.  Beautifully written, it's a book I couldn't put down. — Bill Morgan, Archivist, Author of I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg.


On Tokyo’s Edge gorgeously evokes the privileged world of American expats in 1950’s Occupied Japan. Among them is Robert La Salle, a young boy, uncomfortably aware of being an outsider in a defeated country and keenly alert to adult foibles. In crisp, ringing detail, the story reveals a tightly-knit American community that is reshaping Japan even as Japan refashions its place in the world. Like the re-emerging nation, Robert is coming of age. His progress is poignant, funny, and vastly entertaining. — Cary Holladay, Author of Horse People: Stories


Gordon Ball, grandson of a portrait photographer, was born in Paterson, New Jersey, and grew up in Tokyo, Japan, where he first took up photography. Also an award-winning filmmaker, he's made fourteen independent movies, which have shown at such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Art Institute, Anthology Film Archives, and the Guggenheim Museum. For 28 years Gordon Ball took informal photographs of poet Allen Ginsberg and other members of the Beat Generation. He's taught as a Fulbright Specialist Lecturer in Japan, for the United States Information Agency in Poland, and at several universities in the United States. He currently lives in Virginia.