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.


The Fourth String: A Memoir of Sensei and Me

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!

China Smart

Essential essays on all things Chinese that inform and entertain travelers, students, and anyone working or living in China

Oh, Tama!

A deeply eccentric novel about lives and connections—and a cat of course—in 1980s Tokyo: witty, offbeat, and strangely profound.

The Fourth String

Two women. Two cultures. One music.

Tag Cloud

1960s Korea diy mfa a shameful life memior japanese books awards religion dark horse ancient symbol four immigrants stone bridge press AAS book travel etiquette amys guide to bes tbehavior in japan announcement internment book tour Travel anime author tour hitler disney amy chavez huffpost osaka travel to japan ritual japan memoir welton gaddy japan travel etiquette manga biography kyoto journal Coming of Age Day Ukiyo-e japanese classic learning in japan buddhist symbols student teacher japanese author signing alan brill gaijin 1960's Japan classic brad hawley Poetry tomoko aoyama photography fred schodt japan manners larry herzberg rebecca otowa chinese comics tea garden leonard koren drinking in japan tokyo green tea award hippocampus magazine Children's Literature performance monk wife Spirituality Chinese Astrology Alexandra Johnson mark gibeau Japanese holidays japanese travel eastern and western philosophy book publicity nazi henry kiyama japan travel guide traditional japanese instrument classic japanese literature Christianity oh tama travel Japan the silver spoon osamu tezuka gratitude in japan VIZ hiroaki sato literary prize haiku Interview book signing shamisen zen monks wife' haibun japan behavior china smart traditional japanese music stone bridge cafe kris kosaka japan guide buddhism frederik schodt memoir kyoto japanese books in english manji ex pat literature travel manners japan today buddhist swastika seppuku monks wife 2019 a memoir of sensei and me min kahng musical Shoah World War II journal of a zen monks wife in japan kyodo news Olympics suicide evil book hoarding Language t.k. nakagaki behavior university of chicago asia book reviews japanese book william f sibley lesley university japanese culture zen monk in japan jun hazuki poetry of consciousness rachel manley memoir, tracy franz, zen monk, buddhist donald keene kinokuniya event nara japanese music Children's Books Asian Studies author hooked cross publicity event WWII Translation new release Chinese New Year mieko kanai journal' monks wife swastika shamisen performance manners how to shun medoruma podcast review forewrod reviews indies writing book review japanese manners will eisner japan food the buddhist swastika fantasy literature illustration frank beyer Japanese literature damian flanagan Okinawan literature otakuusa the japan times japan etiquette buddhist ancient symbols japanese instrument center of east asian studies new york Korea photography Second World War japanese translation china history state of belief journal of a zen monk's wife chinese japan visitor bookstore world literature today expat blurb foreword indies award the asian review of books american shamisen author event Tokyo Olympics benjamin franklin awards hitlers cross nichi bei weekly, naomi hirarahara The Colorado Review gallery awa asian review of books koto etiquette best behavior in japan gaijinpot new york events book award graphic novels japan restaurant catcher in the rye trip japanese bath non-fiction Culture japan books diymfa Chinese culture yukio mishima alan moore tricycle magazine expat in japan book blurb eating in japan amys guide to best behavior in japan juddhism japanese craft how to order in japan literature politics and prose zen monk japan custom janet pocorbba my year of dirt and water shaimsen a memoir japan travel guide danica davidson tea jing liu 2020 Olympics pottery paul mccarthy holden caufield comic history purification astro boy holocaust reviews lions roar walt disney suehiro maruo zen comics japanese etiquette ningen shikkaku the hidden writer osamu dazai year of zen china What You Don’t Know, What You Need to Know— A Past & Present Guide to History, Culture, Society, Language Christianity in Japan summer vacation IBPA journal of a zen monk book reading janet pocorobba Year of the Dog learning shamisen matcha manga Basho buddhist priest japan vacation gaijin pot History giajin polite memoir writing tracy franz journal japan book review sensei and me tourist benjamin franklin award hate foreword reviews Basho's Narrow Road Nikolas Bunton japanese cutlure diary Chinese history miswest book review traditional japanese instrumenet Art/Design Korea astrology pacific rim review of books koun traditional japan culture zazen bowing in japan black jack washington dc japanese drunk living in japan understandind china through comics interfaith no longer human zen monk wife foreigner in japan PEN AWARD finalist japanese people foreword indies book talk japan trip Anime/Manga/Comics books publishing a mejiro novel kansuke naka verticle japanese customs peace Japanese aesthetics Japan the fourth string the japan society huffington post why we write podcast what do in japan tk nakagaki visitor Chiune Sugihara do it right and be polite World War Two japan book michael emmerich UCLA jared cook dazai janet pocrobba Japanese art wife the millions in the woods of memory international book award how to travel in japan literary review the fourth string a memoir of sensei and me ibpa publishing university new books japan ravel China japanese instruments takuma sminkey sensei monk dirt and water Spring Festival