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

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