As an interlude between each chapter there is a talking head short story from a member of a Seattle minority community talking about the past or present suffering of another Seattle minority community. There are particular focuses on the Japanese American, Native American, and LGBT communities (especially in relation to the AIDS carnage of the Eighties and Nineties).
The novel was inspired by the 2012 commemorations in Seattle of both the 50th anniversary of the World's Fair and the 70th anniversary of Japanese American Internment. In particular by an interview with Fumiko Hayashida, who was photographed at Bainbridge Island harbour as one of the first Japanese Americans to be taken away to a concentration camp in the wake of the Pearl Habor attack. The novel was first published in April 2014 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the suicide of Kurt Cobain, which was an important event in Martine Brown's youth. Cobain's legacy is not the only one to affect Martine with Freddie Mercury's death and Jimi Hendrix's sojourn in London also featuring in her story.
This revised edition contains a dedication and obituary to Fumiko Hayashida who inspired the novel and has since died.
Mercia McMahon is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. She was born, bred and battered in Belfast, but now lives in London, when not travelling to research a book. Mercia's fiction work is sometimes darkly serious, sometimes quirky, sometimes serious and quirky and always deeply political. She writes non-fiction work in the areas of religion, gender studies, and creative writing. Again, the political angle is never far from the surface.
Mayu is a champion in the sport of women's sword fighting and a once in a generation talent. She is also a keen advocate of women's rights, who wants to cross over to the mountain and change society through politics. Then a rebellion happens and she has to decide how best to pursue her aims: by diplomacy or by the sword.
The Things They Carried won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.