Stone Field, True Arrow

Picador USA/Metropolitan Books (2001)


Maya Ishida is no stranger to sorrow. Torn from her artist father and native Japan as a child, raised by her cold, ambitious mother in Minneapolis, she has finally put together a life with few disruptions: a safe marriage to a man who never asks any questions, a quiet job weaving clothes in a country studio. The past is no more than a story she vaguely remembers; the present is a gray landscape of solitary pleasures and modest expectations. But when her father dies, Maya is pulled back into the memory of their parting.

In the stories he told her about Orpheus and Eurydice and the tennyo, a mythic Japanese figure, Maya’s father had taught her that love means making the sacrifice of letting go, and so she had walked away from him without looking back. Twenty-four years later, holding her father’s last sketch, Maya knows she can avoid looking back no longer. She must question her placid marriage, her decision not to become an artist, and even the precarious peace she made with her mother, before she can be released—to feel passion, risk change, and fall in love.

In her debut adult novel, Kyoko Mori has drawn on ancient myths, reworked with her hallmark lush and lyrical prose, to probe the eternal question: Given the fragility of life, is love too great a risk?


A novel by Kyoko Mori is an event. Laced with her beautiful writing, Stone Field, True Arrow is breathtaking.

– Lorrie Moore, author of Bark and Birds of America. 

A quiet, heartbreaking novel that has as much to say about art as it does about longing.

– The New York Times Book Review

Kyoko Mori is an artist with words. She stitches them together in phrases that make you catch your breath at the aptness of a metaphor or the sharp sting of truth.

– The Capital Times