Nagatani’s Novel is an Epic Tale of Adventure

Patrick Nagatani signs copies of his novel "The Race: Tales in Flight" on October 19, 6 – 7 p.m. at Albuquerque Museum

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Renowned artist and gifted storyteller Patrick Nagatani will sign copies of his novel The Race: Tales in Flight (published by Albuquerque Museum and FrescoBooks, 2017). Nagatani, being primarily a visual storyteller, conceived of this novel over eight years ago. The story line in The Race crosses time, cultures, and continents in an epic tale of adventure. Meet the author and get a signed copy for your collection, Thursday, October 19, 6 – 7 p.m.

The Race is a story about the discovery of fifteen Supermarine Spitfire airplanes buried in Burma at the end of World War II and their subsequent excavation and acquisition by Keiko Kobahashi, the CEO of Japan’s Mitsubishi Industries. The aircraft are brought to Tokyo and transformed into state-of the-art floatplanes, capable of traveling long distances and landing at sea. Kobahashi interviews and selects fifteen women of different backgrounds to pilot the planes in a trans-Pacific race from Tokyo to San Francisco.

This novel is not just about the race per se: each chapter unfolds as one pilot’s singular tale. The characters move through their private narratives— sometimes achieving catharsis—as they fly for hours alone across the Pacific Ocean in the confined space of their cockpits. Beyond the personal reflections each woman experiences is a larger dialogue about culture and gender issues, the moral and ecological state of our planet, the human condition and the universal need for compassion.

Patrick Nagatani is a renowned artist and gifted storyteller. For over forty years, his oeuvre has centered on imagined tales silently told through his photographs, collages, and mixed media works. His art has evolved around stories and narrative fictions seen as ‘photographic fact.’ The Race is a logical extension of Nagatani’s visual campaigns and the conceptual, often directorial approach of his practice. In this venture, he conceived the underlying story, assembled the model planes, made the corresponding photographs, selected the writers, and wrote six chapters. His lifelong interests in Buddhism, fiction and poetry, alternative medicine, indigenous cultures, identity, and self-examination all play a prominent role in this epic tale of adventure.

Media inquiries or for more information, call Albuquerque Museum at (505) 243-7255.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, Albuquerque Museum is the cornerstone of Albuquerque’s cultural community and in its short history has had unprecedented growth in the quantity and quality of its collections. Located in the heart of Old Town, the Museum maintains a reputation for being one of the leading institutions for art, history and culture in the Southwest. Albuquerque Museum is a division of the Cultural Services Department, City of Albuquerque, Richard J. Berry, Mayor. Located at 19th and Mountain Road NW in Historic Old Town; 505-243-7255 or call 311 locally (NM Relay or 711). Visit our website at

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