"This splendid story collection is a sword through the heart."--Ben Fountain

From the O. Henry Prize-winning author comes a heartbreakingly beautiful and brutal exploration of lives fragmented by the Pacific side of World War II.


Spanning more than 150 years, and set in multiple locations in colonial and postcolonial Asia and the United States, Inheritors paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of its characters as they grapple with the legacies of loss, imperialism, and war.

Written from myriad perspectives and in a wide range of styles, each of these interconnected stories is designed to speak to the others, contesting assumptions and illuminating the complicated ways we experience, interpret, and pass on our personal and shared histories. A retired doctor, for example, is forced to confront the horrific moral consequences of his wartime actions. An elderly woman subjects herself to an interview, gradually revealing a fifty-year old murder and its shattering aftermath. And in the last days of a doomed war, a prodigal son who enlisted against his parents' wishes survives the American invasion of his island outpost, only to be asked for a sacrifice more daunting than any he imagined.

Serizawa's characters walk the line between the devastating realities of war and the banal needs of everyday life as they struggle to reconcile their experiences with the changing world. A breathtaking meditation on suppressed histories and the relationship between history, memory, and storytelling, Inheritors stands in the company of Lisa Ko, Viet Thanhn Nguyen and Min Jin Lee.
“An extraordinary book—beautifully crafted, emotionally resonant and profoundly moving. Asako Serizawa imbues her characters with so much depth and generosity that I felt as if I were reading about people I already knew and loved. An intensely powerful book by a writer with endless talent.”
Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans

"This splendid story collection is a sword through the heart. Asako Serizawa depicts with rare acuity and nuance several generations of one far-flung family as it's buffeted by the forces of war, migration, displacement, and that ultimate crucible, time. There are no easy answers or clean resolutions in Serizawa's stories, but what you will find is the genuine stuff of human experience, rendered with precision and honesty.  Inheritors is debut fiction delivered with the verve of a master."
Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk