It took Gene Oishi 50 years to write his debut novel, a story about Japanese American identity and family during and after World War II. Over at The Nervous Breakdown, Oishi interviews himself about the process of writing Fox Drum Bebop:
I had a lot of excuses, but the reason I didn’t want to write about the war years was because I was unsure of who I was. War propaganda depicted the Japanese race as evil. We were subhuman, cruel, vicious, treacherous and barbaric. Cartoons depicted Japanese as vermin that needed to be exterminated. I don’t think I really believed that, but I wanted to be an American. And how can you be an American and Japanese at the same time?