A ‘twisted trip’ filled with ‘raunchy comedy and poignant tenderness’

The Confessions of a Number One Son: The Great Chinese American Novel  By Frank Chin, edited by Calvin McMillin (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2015, 280 pp., $24, paperback, $45 cloth) Calvin McMillin is to be commended for breathing life into a long-lost novel by Frank Chin, a writer who has been instrumental in shaping […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Pioneering Nisei writer and physician, Yasuo Sasaki, fought for reproductive freedom

This is the first installment of a two-part series that traces aspects of the long and rich life of Dr. Yasuo Sasaki, who was a pioneering Nisei poet and intellectual, as well as a scientist, physician and fighter for reproductive freedom. Beginning at an early age, he worked to unite the twin strands of his […]

Dream big, or go home

IT’S A BIG WORLD, LITTLE PIG! By Kristi Yamaguchi, illustrated by Tim Bowers (Naperville, Ill.: Sourcebooks, 2012, 32 pp., $16.99, hardcover) Sansei Olympic figure skating medalist Kristi Yamaguchi has written this sequel to last year’s “Dream Big, Little Pig.” Our heroine Poppy the Pig travels to Paris for an ice skating competition. Her apprehension about […]

NEA presents 2012 grants

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) announced its 2012 grant awards recipients for Art Works on Nov. 17. According to the NEA, its grants are awarded to support the creation of art that “meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the […]

A legendary artist’s lifetime of loneliness

THE EAST-WEST HOUSE: Noguchi’s Childhood in Japan By Christy Hale (New York: Lee and Low Books, 2009, 32 pp., $17.95, hardcover) Always having been curious about the life of biracial artist Isamu Noguchi, I was pleased to receive this book to review. Palo Alto, Calif. author and illustrator Christy Hale has created a lovely picture […]

Anecdotes from times now past

THE DEMON AT AGI BRIDGE AND OTHER JAPANESE TALES Edited by Haruo Shirane and translated by Burton Watson (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010, 160 pp., $22.50, paperback) Ancient texts from Japan are always a pleasure to read. They are filled with some of most fanciful stories available to readers, and provide enchanting tales similar […]

BOOK REVIEW: A world of frightening poignancy

Hotel Iris By Yoko Ogawa (New York: Picador, 2010, 176 pp., $14, paperback) “If Mother is so intent on paying me compliments, it might be because she doesn’t really love me very much. In fact, the more she tells me how pretty I am, the uglier I feel. To be honest, I have never once […]

BOOK REVIEW: Mystery novel unveils the power to change another’s life

The Devil’s Whisper By Miyuki Miyabe, translated by Stuhr Iwabuchi (Kondansha: New York, 2010, 264 pp., $11.95, paperback) Miyabe does it again — the elegantly crafted, more-than-just-mystery novel in “The Devil’s Whisper” keeps you hooked not just on the plot, but on the characters, their guilty consciences, and the moral quandaries and choices that bind […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Feminist Writer Ishigaki Made Waves

In the decade surrounding World War II, the Japanese-born feminist and activist Ayako Ishigaki lived in the United States, where she distinguished herself as a radical intellectual and outspoken opponent of Japan’s military occupation of Manchuria and China. She joined dockside protests aimed at preventing Japanese ships from landing and transporting cargoes and barnstormed the […]

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