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Sequoia Nagamatsu Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

How High We Go in the Dark (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

One World: A Global Anthology of Short Stories(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lightspeed Magazine, January 2015(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Museum of All Things Awesome and that Go Boom(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Sequoia Nagamatsu is a bestselling author best known for his debut novel “How High We Go in the Dark” published in 2022.

Previously, he had published the bestselling short story collection “Where We Go When All We Were is Gone.” The latter came in second in the Indies Book of the Year Award in 2016, was a Buzzfeed notable book and was a 2016 Best Book at Entropy Magazine.

Over the years, Nagamatsu’s works have been featured in prestigious publications including One World, Conjunctions, Iowa Review, the Southern Review, Lightspeed Magazine, Tin House and ZYZZYVA.

Sequoia is an author originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and Hawaii. He got his bachelors in anthropology from Grinnell College and also got a creative writing MFA from Southern Illinois University.

The author is also a co-editor of an online quarterly titled Psychopomp Magazine which is all about innovative prose. After teaching creative writing at Martha’s Vineyard Institute and the College of Idaho he is now a tutor at Olaf College.

Nagamatsu currently makes his home in the Twin Cities, where he lives with Cole Nagamatsu his writer wife and Kalahira his cat.

Nagamatsu was a man fascinated by storytelling from a very young age even before he could read. He used to put on plays and made up stories for his family. When he was old enough to write with crayons, he started making tabloid stories just like in the “National Enquirer.”

Unlike most authors, he did not have one specific storytelling hero even as he was always enamored by space scientists such as astrophysicists and astronomers.

He has said that had he been gifted with any science skills he probably would have been working in those fields rather than being a writer. However, he was terrible at math and very good at inventing tabloid-like stories that he would put into booklets.

Sequoia began thinking of a career in writing several years after graduating from college. During this time, he was living in Japan, where he was a teacher of English for several years.

Feeling like a fish out of water linguistically and culturally made him lonely for a time. He used much of the free time he had to reflect on his life and it was at this time that he began writing a lot of poems and short stories.

After Sequoia attended Grinnell College in Iowa, he went back to San Francisco where writing became something that he did on the regular. However, he soon found himself floundering and broke and knew he had to try something else.

It was at this time that he emigrated to Japan where he lived for two years teaching English. This was to be his turning point that would result in a long career as an author. Since he was a fourth generation Japanese American who could hardly speak Japanese, he would thus spend much of his time writing his novels.

Nagamatsu ultimately went back to the US to study creative writing at the Fine Arts Program at Southern Illinois University. It is here that he began reckoning with issues of race that he explored in his fiction works.

Many of his earlier stories were written for an imaginary wheite audience rather than for himself. He has asserted that these were for the most part being published.

He published “Where We Go When All We Were is Gone” in 2016 and the collection of short stories went on t0o become a bestseller, winning many awards along the way.

“How High We Go In the Dark” by Sequoia Nagamatsu is a luminous and haunting story of Dr. Cliff Miyashiro who has just arrived in the Arctic Circle. He is working in the forlorn landscape, as he needs to continue with the research work begun by his daughter that is recently deceased.

Not long after arriving, he discovers a new strain of virus that had been hidden eons ago under the now melting permafrost. It is the virus of a plague that promises to reshape humanity’s existence for generations.

Stubbornly trying to contain the virus, humanity comes up with all manner of inventive and moving techniques.
Among the people adjusting to the new normal include a man who dreams of becoming a comedian. He works at a theme park that serves terminally ill kids that falls for a woman who will die trying to save the life of her son.

There is a scientist who gets a second chance to become a father when a pig which had been one of his test subjects suddenly starts speaking. There is a man who comes out of a coma to plan a block party after he and his neighbors realize they are among the handful of survivors left in the world.

Lastly, is a woman left a widow alongside her teenage grandchild who leaves to go ona intergalactic quest for a new planet they can call home.

The work follows a cast of characters who have intricate links that go back centuries as they seek to restore balance to their world. It is a story of unshakeable hope that shows humanity resilience, love, and capacity for reinvention.

Sequoia Nagamatsu’s short story collection “Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone” is a work inspired by Japanese and other Eastern traditions. They combine the fantastic and mythic folklore from the east to make for some very interesting tales.

Taking “What If” to the extreme, they ask questions such as What if Godzilla was real and what would happen if such creatures who had the capacity to lengthen their necks at will, reincarnate and be born of peaches lived among humans. What if time was overlapping and fluid and could play out in multiple scenarios.
On the other hand, the stories ask what if families were not so intricate and people could learn to love without losing themselves. What if sadness became hard and happiness very easy to achieve.

There are some eerie and creepy stories while others are bizarre, fun and very accessible to readers across the different age groups.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Sequoia Nagamatsu

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