In the Woods of Memory
No. Pages: 208
Dimensions: 5 x 8 x 1/2"
Format: Paperback & Digital
Price: US: $16.95 CAN: $23.50
ISBN: 978-1-61172-037-2(p), 978-1-61172-924-5(e)
In the Woods of Memory is a powerful, thought-provoking novel that focuses on two incidents during the Battle of Okinawa, 1945: the sexual assault
on Sayoko, 17, by four US soldiers and her friend Seiji’s attempt at revenge. Narrations through nine points of view, Japanese and American, from 1945
to the present day reveal the full complexity of events and how war trauma inevitably ripples through the generations.
About the authors
Akutagawa Prize–winner and activist Shun Medoruma was born in Okinawa. This is his first full-length work in English translation. He has written unique novels that are based on Okinawan nature, history, and climate, focusing especially on the Battle of Okinawa and memories of that war experience. Medoruma often expresses his strong anti-base political views through his articles in the local newspapers—and in his blog.
Takuma Sminkey (né Paul Sminkey) is a professor in the Department of British and American Language and Culture at Okinawa International University. He has been living in Japan for over twenty years and acquired Japanese citizenship in 2010.
Kyle Ikeda received his doctorate in Japanese from the University of Hawai‘i—Manoa in 2007 and is now an associate professor at the University of Vermont. He is one of the leading researchers in English on Shun Medoruma.
"Creates a subtle yet intense and multilayered portrait of Okinawa during World War II and into the twenty-first century."—Foreword Reviews
"Based on an actual incident, this novel depicts the sexual assault of a village girl by an American soldier during the Battle of Okinawa and a village
youth’s slashing counter-attack. Medoruma portrays the assault's life-long effects on the girl and her family, emotionally and socially devastated,
and on the perpetrator, wounded in the counter-attack and later plagued with nightmares, from each of their viewpoints."—Steve Rabson, Pro
"Shun Medoruma has emerged as one of Okinawa's leading literary figures and critical intellectual voices since receiving the coveted Akutagawa Prize in 1997. . . . His writing about Okinawan war memory and trauma stands out as particularly powerful and important."–Kyle Ikeda, University of Vermont, author of Okinawan War Memory: Transgenerational Trauma and the Fiction of Medoruma Shun (Routledge, 2014)
"Generally regarded as Okinawa's most adventurous and promising writer of fiction today."–Michael Molasky, University of Minnesota, author of The American Occupation of Japan and Okinawa: Literature and Memory (Routledge, 1999)
"Medoruma's uniquely visceral and realistic writing style creates a powerful portrait of a chain of sorrow that has destroyed human beings through the generations. Readers will yet again be astonished by the talents of the author, who obviously released this complex work after thoroughly crafting it."–Sadatoshi Oshiro, author
"Shun Medoruma’s 'literature of resistance' has evolved to a higher level through his inventive use of narration, which seems to reverberate through the cave in the woods described in this serialized novel. The work has also taken him one more solid step toward becoming a world-renowned literary figure."–Yoshiaki Koshikawa, Meiji University
"9/10, Powerful"—Cultured Vultures