Alex Shishin


Alex Shishin has published fiction, non-fiction and photography in Japan, North America, and Europe in print and online. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Shishin is a permanent resident of Japan.

Shishin is the author “Nippon 2357:A Utopian Ecological Tale,” and five other ebooks published exclusively by Smashwords and available for free. He is co-author with Stephan F. Politzer of “Four Parallel Lives of Eight Notable Individuals,” also published by Smashwords.

Shishin's short story "Mr. Eggplant Goes Home," first published in “Prairie Schooner” received an O. Henry Award Honorable Mention and was anthologized in “Student Body: Stories About Students and Professors” (University of Wisconsin Press). His short story "Shades," originally published in “Sunday Afternoon” (Kobe) was anthologized in The Broken Bridge: Fiction from Expatriates in Literary Japan (Stone Bridge Press) and reprinted by invitation in “The East” (Tokyo).

Shishin’s book “Rossiya: Voices from the Brezhnev Era” (a Russian-American memoir of a train odyssey through the Soviet Union and Poland) was published by iUniverse. It is available as a print-on-demand book and an ebook.

Shishin has also published a collection of photographs entitled “Ordinary Strangeness” with Viovio in conjunction with his joint exhibition at the Twenty-first Century Museum of Art, Kanazawa, Japan. It is available from the publisher online.

Alex Shishin holds degrees in English from the University of California, Berkeley (BA, Phi Beta Kappa) the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (MFA) and the Union Institute and University (PhD).

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
Sometime in elementary school. I did not consider fiction until I was in high school.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
A long story. I knew many good writers who were miserable because corporate publishing was ignoring them. This is why I stuck to small press publications for years, which also had their frustrating sides. Most frustrating was trying to find how I could publish my utopian novel without compromising it. I was about to self-publish it through a local printer in Kobe when I discovered Smashwords. Problems of publishing and distribution were instantly solved.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Alex Shishin online

Where to buy in print


Slimming Down
Price: Free! Words: 2,130. Language: English. Published: November 5, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Transgressional fiction
Mel, a Long Island high school teacher, envies Philip, an adjunct language college teacher, because his Japanese wife, Chiharu is beautiful. Mel deserts his “fat” wife, Janice, and their children for a language-teaching job in Japan. Janice joins a gym to regain her youthful body. To make Mel, her first love, jealous and bring him home she has affairs.
The Fishmonger’s Daughter
Price: Free! Words: 4,240. Language: English. Published: November 2, 2018. Categories: Screenplays » Short, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
Set in the maritime Japanese city of Akashi, this stoty concerns a superficially westernized arts supply shopkeeper who lives in the vicinity of the famous Uonotana Fish Market. After is longtherm married lover leaves him, he drawn to the Japanese authenticity of the fish market. And to a fishmonger's beautiful daufghter.
Among Predators: A Tale of Paris
Price: Free! Words: 15,980. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Residing in Paris, Greek-American journalist Rick and African-French Martiniquean Yolanda, author and ex-model, have their life changed by their wealthy and acne-ravaged Japanese homestay guest. Masami idolizes Yolanda and likens herself to an abandoned cat. Soon Rick and Yolanda start to suspect she shoplifting. The mystery of Masami deepens with the appearance of a dubious “poet” boyfriend.
Ebisu Bridge: A Tale of Modern Japan
Price: Free! Words: 10,580. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Homeless and disabled, Motoshima Saburo, 58, sells The Big Issue on Osaka’s Ebisu Bridge. He falls into a moral battle with Ken, aging toy boy and “dating club” tout, for the soul of “The Waif,” a pill-popping 17-year-old runaway, whom Ken has used for a haywire robbery. Saburo assumes the role of father and lover, though he cannot be either to the confused girl who tells no one her name.
Fidelity: Episodes from Three Lives in Japan
Price: Free! Words: 8,850. Language: English. Published: January 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Set in the Osaka-Kobe area, the interconnected erotic stories of Fidelity: Three Interconnected Lives in Japan concern the unpredictable and labyrinthine symbiotic relationship between American expatriates Hank Hashimoto and Aurora Tanabe and the eccentric Erina Wada, nicknamed “Booger Eater” by Aurora.
The Cyber Dust Stories: Lost Internet Short Stories and Essays Centering on Japan
Price: Free! Words: 24,650. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2010. Categories: Essay » Political
Japan-centered essays and short fiction, including “Bulldozer,” “Slapstick on the Precipice: The Rise of Koizumi Junichiro,” “Is There DU in Japan’s Future?” (co-authored), plus other important cyber-lost works.
Nippon 2357: A Utopian Ecological Tale
Price: Free! Words: 79,420. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(4.00 from 1 review)
Thomas Redburn, American expatriate living in Japan, falls down drunk one night and wakes up onboard a time machine flying to 24th century Japan. His benign abductors take him to a nearly perfect world. Yet, separated by centuries from his wife and children, his grief multiplies as he faces universal happiness. A classic utopian novel with a Japanese twist.
The Bridge of Dreams and Predators: Two Short Novels
Price: Free! Words: 26,050. Language: English. Published: May 15, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
In The Bridge of Dreams, set in Osaka, the homeless and disabled Motoshima Saburo, 58, fights a moral battle with Ken, a young “dating club” scout, who has used The Waif, a pill-popping 17-year-old runaway, for a haywire robbery. In Predators, set in Paris, Rick and Yolanda discover their wealthy and acne-ravaged home stay guest, Masami Ogawa, is a thief. And worse.

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