Gaijin by Sarah Z. Sleeper @SarahZSleeper @RunWildBooks @AnnaSacca @FSBAssociates #Gaijin #NetGalley #NewRelease

Firstly I would like to thank Anna Sacca of FSB Associates for inviting me to read and review this book

Gaijin by [Sarah Z Sleeper, Barbara Lockwood]


The Japanese word gaijin means “unwelcome foreigner.” It’s not profanity, but is sometimes a slur directed at non-Japanese people in Japan. My novel is called Gaijin…

Lucy is a budding journalist at Northwestern University and she’s obsessed with an exotic new student, Owen Ota, who becomes her lover and her sensei. When he disappears without explanation, she’s devastated and sets out to find him. On her three-month quest across Japan she finds only snippets of the elegant culture Owen had described. Instead she faces anti-U.S. protests, menacing street thugs and sexist treatment, and she winds up at the base of Mt. Fuji, in the terrifying Suicide Forest. Will she ever find Owen? Will she be driven back to the U.S.? Gaijin is a coming-of-age story about a woman who solves a heartbreaking mystery that alters the trajectory of her life.




When Lucy first meets Owen Ota at Northwestern University, where she is studying journalism, she soon becomes quite besotted by him. He talks to her of traditional cultures of his home in Japan, the sheer beauty of the country and the gentle people. It isn’t long before she has fallen in love with him and his homeland. They are soon dating but he often refers to her as his friend, which she finds strange and things don’t progress quite like she would have liked, but she is still learning about his ways and traditions. He says he is a gaijin in her country, an unwanted foreigner.

Owen invites her to go to Japan with him but strangely disappears without saying anything to her. Lucy continues at university and adds a new course about Japan. When she sees a position advertised at a newspaper in Japan she applies for the position and is totally surprised that they offer her the job.

I loved how Lucy’s character developed and how the environment made her so much stronger.

I wish to thank Anna Sacca of FSB Associates and NetGalley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Sarah Z. Sleeper

Sarah Z. Sleeper is an ex-journalist with an MFA in creative writing. Gaijin is her first novel. Her short story, “A Few Innocuous Lines,” won an award from Writer’s Digest. Her non-fiction essay, “On Getting Vivian,” was published in The Shanghai Literary Review. Her poetry was published in A Year in Ink, San Diego Poetry Annual and Painters & Poets, and exhibited at the Bellarmine Museum. In the recent past she was an editor at New Rivers Press, and editor-in-chief of the literary journal Mason’s Road. She completed her MFA at Fairfield University in 2012. Prior to that she had a twenty-five-year career as a business writer and technology reporter and won three journalism awards and a fellowship at the National Press Foundation

Twitter: @SarahZSleeper

2 thoughts on “Gaijin by Sarah Z. Sleeper @SarahZSleeper @RunWildBooks @AnnaSacca @FSBAssociates #Gaijin #NetGalley #NewRelease

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