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Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei by…

Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei

by David Mura

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Award-winning poet David Mura's critically acclaimed memoir Turning Japanese chronicles how a year in Japan transformed his sense of self and pulled into sharp focus his complicated inheritance. Mura is a sansei, a third-generation Japanese-American who grew up on baseball and hot dogs in a Chicago suburb, where he heard more Yiddish than Japanese. Turning Japanese chronicles his quest for identity with honesty, intelligence, and poetic vision and it stands as a classic meditation on difference and assimilation and is a valuable window onto a country that has long fascinated our own.
  PSZC | May 20, 2019 |
One of my literature professors gave me this book as a gift when he learned that I am going to teach English in Japan. Author David Mura is a third generation Japanese-American poet and these memoirs chronicle his first trip to Japan, his family history, his experience growing up Asian-American while surrounded by white people in the Midwest, and his quest to make sense of his identity based on cultural perceptions of race and sexuality.

While Mura does describe cultural differences between the U.S. and Japan and does provide an abridged travelogue of his adventures, this is not a traveler’s handbook. The text is primarily about Mura’s struggle to make sense of his upbringing and future path—his nuanced and thought provoking discussions about race weave into delicately spun narratives about relationships, politics, and history. This is not lightweight reading, but Mura’s background as a poet gives his writing a beautiful rhythm that makes even the most difficult and philosophical chapters a delight to read. His honest approach really touched me despite some slow sections, so I give the book four stars. ( )
  anru | Aug 26, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385423446, Paperback)

A journal of discovery by a poet and third-generation Japanese-American who explores the sense of difference that haunts him both at home and in Japan.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:00 -0400)

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