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Sansei and sensibility

Call Number


Publication Information

Minneapolis : Coffee House Press, 2020.

Physical Description

213 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


"The protagonists of these skillful and inventive stories have traveled various paths--from Japan to Brazil, L.A. to Gardena, San Francisco to Tokyo--but along the way, they have all become archivists, whether they know it or not. They examine the contents of deceased relatives' freezers, tape-record high-school locker-room chatter, cart the contents of a household cross-country, or collect a community's gossip while cleaning the teeth of its inhabitants. They sparkle with Karen's signature wit and humor while diving into questions of race, class, colonialism, immigration, and, above all, inheritance--familial, cultural, emotional, artistic, and otherwise. How does what we collect along the way define or negate our experiences? Can we ever really be free of it? Should we want to? In second half of the book, Yamashita imagines how Jane Austen's seven novels might look 'in a small provincial armpit of postwar sunshine' in sixties and seventies Japanese America. Mr. Darcy is the captain of the football team, Mansfield Park has materialized in a suburb of L.A., bake sales have replaced balls, and station wagons, not horse-drawn carriages, are the preferred mode of transit. In these buoyant and inventive stories, Yamashita asks what the act of transferring a 'classic' tale across boundaries-of space, time, race, genre--can tell us about the tropes that ungird our experiences."--


  • The bath
  • The dentist and the dental hygienist
  • A gentlemen's agreement
  • Bombay gin
  • Borges & I
  • Kiss of kitty
  • Indian summer
  • Colono:Scopy
  • KonMarimasu
  • Sansei recipes
  • A selected L.A./Gardena J.A. Timeline
  • Shikataganai & Mottainai
  • Giri & Gaman
  • Monterey Park
  • Emi
  • Japanese American gothic
  • The Persu Asians
  • Omaki-san
  • J.A. cheat sheet
  • afterword: Sansei Janeite

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