Winner of the Sakutaro Hagiwara Prize and the Murasaki
Introducing Hiromi Ito, an award-winning Japanese author who has been compared to Haruki Murakami and Yoko Tawada.
The first novel to appear in English by award-winning author Hiromi Ito explores the absurdities, complexities, and challenges experienced by a woman
caring for her two families: her husband and daughters in California and her aging
parents in Japan. As the narrator shuttles back and forth between these two
starkly different cultures, she creates a powerful and entertaining narrative
about what it means to live and die in a globalized society.
Ito has been described as a "shaman of poetry" because of
her skill in allowing the voices of others to flow through her. Here she enriches
her semi-autobiographical novel by channeling myriad voices drawn from Japanese
folklore, poetry, literature, and pop culture. The result is a generic
chimera-part poetry, part prose, part epic-a unique, transnational, polyvocal
mode of storytelling. One throughline is a series of memories associated with
the Buddhist bodhisattva Jizo, who helps to remove the "thorns" of human suffering.