Phantoms : a novel / Christian Kiefer.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "Torn apart by war and bigotry, two families confront long-buried secrets in this haunting American novel of World War II and Vietnam. In the panoramic tradition of Charles Frazier's fiction, Phantoms is a fierce saga of American culpability. A Vietnam vet still reeling from war, John Frazier finds himself an unwitting witness to a confrontation, decades in the making, between two steely matriarchs: his aunt, Evelyn Wilson, and her former neighbor, Kimiko Takahashi. John comes to learn that in the onslaught of World War II, the Takahashis had been displaced as once-beloved tenants of the Wilson orchard and sent to an internment camp. One question has always plagued both families: What happened to the Takahashi son, Ray, when he returned from service and found that Placer County was no longer home--that nowhere was home for a Japanese American? As layers of family secrets unravel, the harrowing truth forces John to examine his own guilt. In prose recalling Thomas Wolfe, Phantoms is a stunning exploration of the ghosts of American exceptionalism that haunt us today"-- Provided by publisher.
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
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  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      KIEFER, C. Phantoms : a novel. First edition. [s. l.]: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2019. ISBN 9780871404817. Disponível em: Acesso em: 9 ago. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Kiefer C. Phantoms : A Novel. First edition. Liveright Publishing Corporation; 2019. Accessed August 9, 2020.
    • APA:
      Kiefer, C. (2019). Phantoms : a novel (First edition.). Liveright Publishing Corporation.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Kiefer, Christian. 2019. Phantoms : A Novel. First edition. Liveright Publishing Corporation.
    • Harvard:
      Kiefer, C. (2019) Phantoms : a novel. First edition. Liveright Publishing Corporation. Available at: (Accessed: 9 August 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Kiefer, C 2019, Phantoms : a novel, First edition., Liveright Publishing Corporation, viewed 9 August 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Kiefer, Christian. Phantoms : A Novel. First edition., Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2019. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Kiefer, Christian. Phantoms : A Novel. First edition. Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2019.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Kiefer C. Phantoms : a novel [Internet]. First edition. Liveright Publishing Corporation; 2019 [cited 2020 Aug 9]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2019 April #1

Kiefer's haunting third novel traces the effect of war on two men decades apart. When John Frazier returns from Vietnam in 1969 to his home in Newcastle, California, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, he is suffering from PTSD. His goal is to somehow transform his war flashbacks into a novel. A distant aunt, Evelyn Wilson, arrives with an unusual request, asking John to drive her to the Oakland home of Kimiko Takahashi, a woman who lived with her husband, Hiro, their son, Ray, and two daughters in Newcastle until their removal to a Japanese internment camp in 1942. At that meeting, John becomes privy to the sad story of what became of the Takahashi family and the part played by the Wilsons, once dear friends who inexplicably became enemies. The real mystery centers on Ray Takahashi. What happened to him after his return from serving in WWII, and why didn't he seek out his family even though he knew they had relocated to Oakland? John gradually puts together the long-lost pieces of this puzzle, which haunted the Takahashis. Ray's poignant suffering is but one example of the bigotry and fear experienced by Japanese-born U.S. citizens after Pearl Harbor, the same bigotry and fear of the other that still sadly exists in America today. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

PW Reviews 2019 February #4

Kiefer's sweeping novel (after One Day Soon Time Will Have No Place to Hide) examines the ways war shapes the lives of ordinary people. Upon returning to Placer County, Calif., after serving in Vietnam, John Frazier is at loose ends: 21 and gripped by recollections of violence and a drug habit he's trying to kick, he's unable to imagine his future. But when he runs into his long-lost aunt Evelyn Wilson, John is improbably sucked into the mystery of what happened to Ray Takahashi, Evelyn's Japanese-American former neighbor, who disappeared soon after returning from WWII. With John in tow, Evelyn meets with Ray's mother to reveal a secret she's kept for 26 years—that, unbeknownst to Ray, Evelyn's daughter, Helen, gave birth to his baby after he came back from the war. At Evelyn's insistence, Helen gave up the infant to an orphanage partly due to the "disgrace" of a mixed-race child. As John grapples with his own ghosts, he investigates Ray's life: his idyllic childhood growing up with the Wilson children, his romance with Helen, the Takahashi family's transfer to an internment camp and the prejudice they encountered. After Evelyn exposes her secret, the sinister forces underlying Ray's disappearance begin rising closer to the surface. Kiefer's story sheds light on the prejudice violence ignites and on the Japanese-American experience during a fraught period of American history, and makes for engaging and memorable novel. (Apr.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.