Bedeviled, Pat Matsueda


Managing editor of Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing, and recipient of an Elliott Cades Award for Literature, Pat Matsueda is the author of Stray, and, with Sheyene Foster Heller, co-editor of the anthology Ms. Aligned: Women Writing About Men.

Critical Praise

"Complex, in moments dark and in others wonderfully hopeful, Pat Matsueda’s novella Bedeviled is, at its heart, about the struggle to forgive the self. When Ted Koga’s addiction is outed and his career threatened, he tries to root out the evil in his life, not understanding just how deeply past betrayals, resentments, anger, and hurt can burrow, and how difficult it is to escape old patterns. Bedeviled asks essential questions: How do we process hurt? How do we forgive wrongdoing? And how do we heal, with—or without—the support of our families? Through her carefully crafted characters, Matsueda makes these philosophical questions powerfully real, and though she resists easy answers, her novella offers a sense of hope and vision."
Kristiana Kahakauwila
author of This is Paradise: Stories

"Bedeviled digs deeply into the emotional costs of addiction—sexual and substance—through the story of a family that self-destructs and then quietly stitches itself back together. With an empathetic eye, Matsueda explores addiction’s roots in abuse and loneliness, and demonstrates how confronting pain—and making oneself vulnerable to love—can be a way to freedom. A dark, moving, and, ultimately, hopeful story."
Shawna Yang Ryan
author of Green Island

"Resonant and true to place, Pat Matsueda’s mesmerizing novella offers a glimpse into the unraveling of one man’s life, along with a close look at a Hawaii few outsiders know. Matsueda is a master wordsmith."
Phyllis Gray Young
author of Sea Home

"Bedeviled is a beautiful metaphor, surprising, riveting, and honest. Within its pages, Internet porn and the floating world seem made for each other, and are grounded in the human heart. The prose is spare and searching; the overall effect is luminous."
Robert Shapard
coeditor of Flash Fiction International

"Told with charity, clarity, and insight, this story of an unassuming Everyman who has tried—and failed—to 'lead his life by the book' is a compelling and touching read. I loved Bedeviled and hope it finds a wide readership."
Molly Giles
author of All the Wrong Places

"Bedeviled is a journey into the dark recess of the human soul—and the light that glimmers there. It is a story of pain and loneliness, but also a guide to healing and rejuvenation. Ultimately, it is a testament to the power of compassion in our most difficult moments."
Samrat Upadhyay
author of Arresting God in Kathmandu

Patricia Matsueda’s novella, Bedeviled, is a lyrically written exploration of a man who, for a variety of social, sexual and personal reasons, violently rejects all that he holds dear and begins to live a hallucinatory life of addiction. The novella’s intention is not to offer yet another example of a man at the edge of desperation, but to search for a way back to a compassionate order of things where the body has its own integrity, sex its own loving and healing power, and each person can stand ‘face to face’ with his or her own self and say: there is nothing to fear if you try, whenever possible, to live according to the integrity of your own reason, rejection of all moral and spiritual abuse, and the unhurt acceptance of even those who may have wronged you.
Alok Bhalla
author of Partition Dialogues

by Pat Matsueda


Published: Manoa Books/El León
January 25, 2017