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

Forty-Seven Samurai

One of the most spectacular vendettas ever: the history and haiku behind the mass-suicide featured in the 2013 film 47 Ronin

Oh, Tama!

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

Tag Cloud

wife Christianity in Japan memoir writing Second World War Children's Literature do it right and be polite what do in japan AAS buddhist symbols evil peace book signing osamu dazai Nikolas Bunton seppuku brad hawley japanese etiquette memoir, tracy franz, zen monk, buddhist reviews anime the inland sea new york events translators hong kong why we write podcast ibpa publishing university japan manners blurb china guide chinese literature kyoto journal gallery awa Alexandra Johnson photography hitler japan behavior writing literary prize manga biography eli lieberman dazai bowing in japan lions roar japan book review UCLA zen monks wife' amy chavez simba chinese comics how to World War Two bookstore shamisen nhk journal of a zen monk jared cook peace symbol a mejiro novel osamu tezuka japan travel etiquette huffington post japan guide japanese books china What You Don’t Know, What You Need to Know— A Past & Present Guide to History, Culture, Society, Language journal Interview death announcement Christianity book talk criterion author Chinese Astrology foreword indies lesley university gratitude in japan green tea best behavior in japan PEN AWARD book lucille cara monks wife buddhist fred schodt how to order in japan sensei and me holden caufield the lion king monk wife luke patitsas matcha danica davidson traditional japanese japanese music summer vacation Poetry musical machiya restaurant manji comic history forest gander society publicity benjamin franklin awards tokyo tricycle magazine mieko kanai memoir in japan japan book asia Art/Design a memoir of sensei and me a shameful life keanu reeves Japanese literature frederik schodt 1960s Korea steve alpert tracy franz forty seven samurai traditional japanese music forewrod reviews indies nara illustration japan etiquette oh tama chapters diy mfa interfaith Culture book review japan visitor china history black jack association of jewish libraries Translation 20th century chinese literature paul mccarthy studio ghibli kyoto guidebook the asian review of books xu xu japanese people 2019 japan times japanese classic manga leonard koren classic literature tea garden Tokyo Olympics mark gibeau travel Japan polite university of chicago book tour doris bargen kinokuniya event shun medoruma china smart kyodo news the japan society eating in japan japan travel guide Basho religion osaka book hoarding ningen shikkaku visitor author signing world literature today hiroaki sato suehiro maruo Spirituality nova scotia student teacher budhist swastika Japan hitlers cross japan restaurant drinking in japan will eisner diary otakuusa trip miyazaki stone bridge cafe 4k japanese instrument fantasy literature jungle emperor takuma sminkey larry herzberg Olympics shaimsen janet pocrobba michael emmerich the japan times alan moore japanese business china travel japanese history zen monk in japan osamau tezuka international book award hitler symbol classic poetry the fourth string a memoir of sensei and me china book verticle internment kansuke naka awards WWII disney book award center of east asian studies buddhism Year of the Dog purification classic japanese literature expat in japan japan books traditional japanese instrumenet japanese cutlure new books expat publishing min kahng zen journal of a zen monk's wife Children's Books Korea photography tomoko aoyama japanese to english ripe mangoes tea Spring Festival henry kiyama amys guide to bes tbehavior in japan astro boy japanese culture literature ancient symbols symbol japan memoir the millions japanese travel jun hazuki classic travel etiquette japan culture japanese drunk kotaku buddhist priest kris kosaka Travel ex pat literature steve heller 47 ronin washington dc foreigner in japan dirt and water rachel manley book reading controversy finalist The Colorado Review japan travel ancient symbol frank beyer zen monk wife pulitzer prize wanderlust film mentorship in japan China Korea Basho's Narrow Road miswest book review politics and prose in the woods of memory World War II japan food new release understandind china through comics dark horse alan brill 47 samurai the fourth string haiku event graphic novels asian review of books donald richie book publicity travel to japan non-fiction chinese sharing a house with the never ending man japan trip holocaust diymfa namethetranslator swastika japanese book Chiune Sugihara Language hippocampus magazine tk nakagaki Asian Studies Shoah janet pocorobba william f sibley Anime/Manga/Comics welton gaddy manners books huffpost living in japan japan today comics year of zen foreword reviews rebecca otowa Chinese culture ritual japanese craft the silver spoon book reviews learning instruments in japan hate japanese books in english state of belief haibun catcher in the rye zazen pacific rim review of books learning in japan memior award traditional japanese instrument stone bridge press etiquette japanese manners History education about asia shamisen performance performance china where igo bushido kyoto travel japanese bath the hidden writer book blurb hiaku buddhist swastika journal' monks wife walt disney juddhism hooked cross new york t.k. nakagaki gaijin expert no longer human Ukiyo-e 2020 Olympics Chinese New Year japanese translation nichi bei weekly, naomi hirarahara travel literature Okinawan literature review foreword indies award nazi fiction gaijinpot guide author tour amys guide to best behavior in japan eastern and western philosophy japanese instruments poet behavior author talk donald keene journal of a zen monks wife in japan kimba the white lion pottery literary review how to travel in japan japanese customs sensei Coming of Age Day VIZ japan vacation frederik green Japanese art Chinese history IBPA travel manners bird talk and other stories american shamisen monk kyoto Japanese aesthetics gaijin pot podcast machiya restaurant guide memoir my year of dirt and water poetry of consciousness 15 years at studio ghibli anne prescott the buddhist swastika china vacation koun giajin damian flanagan astrology a memoir studying in japan suicide forty seven ronin zen monk japan ravel tourist japan custom author event jing liu 1960's Japan koto Japanese holidays yukio mishima learning shamisen janet pocorbba benjamin franklin award four immigrants