SBP Blog

Gish Jen blurbs 'The Fourth String: A Memoir of Sensei and Me' by Janet Pocorobba

Michael Palmer - Tuesday, September 11, 2018

We are very happy to announce we will be publishing Janet Pocorobba's The Fourth String: A Memoir of Sensei and Me in march of 2019.  

This memoir explores the intense and unlikely relationship that grows between a Japanese master and an American student, both exiles from their own cultures who find refuge in the three strings of the Japanese shamisen. As they confront each other, and themselves, each learns what gives their life purpose and what belonging truly means.

Part travelogue, part portrait, The Fourth String offers a rare glimpse of a relationship seldom seen today: its beauty, its dangers, its hidden and difficult pleasures.


We are also proud to share that Gish Jen, acclaimed author of The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap has provided a thoughtful blurb for Janet's book. 

“Moving and provocative, The Fourth String charts a profound journey into the heart of another culture. What does it mean to teach and be taught? What does it mean to transform and be transformed? Are teacher and student finally, above all, comrades? This memoir --part biography, part autobiography, part portrait of an alchemy -- is as transmuting as its subject, and a joy to read.”

We've also received wonderful blurbs from Pamela Petro, Liza Dalby, Leonard Koren, Kyoko Mori, and Hester Kaplan. To read their blurbs, learn more about the book and to pre-order check out the book page here:
Available 03/12/18
Biography & Autobiography/ Personal Memoirs
Print ISBN: 9781611720464
$16.95/ $22.99 CAN|256 pages
Format: Paperback / softback


Like our blog? Please share it!


Subscribe to the SBP Mailing List

New Releases

Amy’s Guide to Best Behavior in Japan

Going to Japan? This unfussy modern guide guarantees you keep it polite and get it right!

Easy and Fun Katakana

Learn the second key Japanese syllabary from every angle: reading, writing, and real-world examples.

Exploring Kyoto

This revised and updated edition of the Japan travel classic and cultural guide gets you wandering from downtown quarters to remote mountaintop temples and features expanded information on new museums and gardens now open year-round for viewing.

My Year of Dirt and Water

Married to a Zen monk in training, an American woman in Japan chronicles her own year of growth and discovery.

Tag Cloud

anime shamisen tricycle magazine author event ningen shikkaku the japan times tea Japanese art Korea bowing in japan Basho's Narrow Road understandind china through comics kansuke naka michael emmerich Culture literary review no longer human Japanese aesthetics author signing Translation Art/Design gaijinpot UCLA how to travel in japan Second World War osamu tezuka Year of the Dog religion book review damian flanagan william f sibley new books classic sensei author tour Ukiyo-e journal eastern and western philosophy Okinawan literature expat books my year of dirt and water buddhist japanese comics china history Children's Literature japan food haibun Chinese culture The Colorado Review comic history journal' monks wife shun medoruma tracy franz student teacher frederik schodt book tour amy chavez zen t.k. nakagaki hitler Interview History Children's Books japan custom the silver spoon world literature today Japanese literature monk Poetry dark horse diary purification washington dc publishing memoir, tracy franz, zen monk, buddhist zen monk seppuku how to stone bridge cafe astrology university of chicago min kahng Anime/Manga/Comics japanese people what do in japan tourist tea garden ritual buddhism poetry of consciousness review green tea book hoarding book signing four immigrants Spirituality zazen center of east asian studies a shameful life mark gibeau japan travel japanese customs chinese comics verticle illustration peace internment hooked cross Chiune Sugihara musical pottery asian review of books nazi politics and prose otakuusa Language travel Japan gratitude in japan takuma sminkey AAS hiroaki sato danica davidson classic japanese literature yukio mishima holocaust matcha book blurb Chinese history announcement japanese travel japanese bath wife etiquette guide japan restaurant Nikolas Bunton award eating in japan fred schodt japan guide 1960's Japan manga Spring Festival literary prize non-fiction leonard koren memoir 1960s Korea jing liu koun gaijin pot Basho book publicity Asian Studies in the woods of memory buddhist swastika Chinese New Year japanese etiquette rachel manley Coming of Age Day stone bridge press blurb Korea photography japan memoir disney osamu dazai journal of a zen monks wife in japan Japan literature Travel book the fourth string manners asia janet pocorobba japanese culture suehiro maruo henry kiyama photography haiku jared cook author monk wife japanese book giajin 2020 Olympics reviews suicide how to order in japan Christianity in Japan the buddhist swastika Japanese holidays monks wife japan etiquette Tokyo Olympics Olympics Shoah swastika World War Two Christianity WWII VIZ bookstore Chinese Astrology japanese drunk tk nakagaki China publicity behavior World War II drinking in japan new york