Anthony Swofford follows his international best-seller Jarhead with an unforgettable first novel -- a powerful story about a youth spent on a U.S. air base in Japan and the gritty neon streets just outside it, where the Japanese underworld lurks and a rebellious young girl finds herself in great danger........
Seventeen-year-old Severin Boxx, an earnest, muscular high-school-football star, lives on an American air force base on the outskirts of Tokyo. Severin is mad for Virginia Kindwall, the base general's daughter, who is a hafu -- half American and half Japanese. Beautiful, smart, and utterly defiant of her father, Virginia has become a petty criminal in the Japanese underground.
Severin is soon caught up in Virginia's world, and together they drift through the mad neon landscape outside the walls of the base, near the busy Haijima rail station, a place of movement, anonymity, and sudden disappearance. Exit A is one of its many shadowy doorways. Severin and Virginia fall into trouble way over their heads and are soon subjected to the enormous, unforgiving tensions between America and Japan. Years later, Severin and Virginia remain lost to each other, until an emotionally frayed, thirty- something Severin embarks on a quest to find Virginia -- and the part of himself taken from him when his boyhood abruptly ended.
Darkly irreverent, frankly erotic, at once suspenseful and emotionally overwhelming, Swofford's Exit A builds inexorably toward a climax as it audaciously plumbs the legacies of war, the wish for redemption, and the danger of love..........
Anthony Swofford served in a U.S. Marine Corps Surveillance and Target Acquisition/Scout-Sniper platoon during the Gulf War. After the war, he was educated at American River College; the University of California, Davis; and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has taught at the University of Iowa and Lewis and Clark College. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New York Times, Harper's, Men's Journal, The Iowa Review, and other publications. A Michener-Copernicus Fellowship recipient, he lives in New York.
"Absorbing...The wacky culture clash that westerners experience in Japan is also carefully observed. Swofford portrays well the two-way love-hate relationships that so often develop when west and east meet." -- The Seattle Times
"Swofford is superb on military life, on the beat and pulse of the hierarchical power and ragged consumption that drive a military base.... [He] has now written two very fine and very different books." -- Bookforum
"Swofford has a great eye for detail and cultural kitsch, which imbues Exit A with a lot of incidental humor despite its weightier themes." -- Los Angeles Times
"Exit A boasts a beautifully written hero in naive severin boxx." -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Fascinating...Swift and bold...The tale has undeniable cinematic panache, and Swofford boots it along with the big, thumping V8 of his prose." -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"In Exit A, Swofford's prose swaggers...showcasing the genius that made his name in Jarhead...proving he can easily hold his own with the giants of American letters." -- San Francisco Chronicle