SBP Blog

Politics and Prose Bookstore reviews Tracy Franz's 'My Year of Dirt and Water

Michael Palmer - Thursday, September 27, 2018

We're delighted to share that celebrated Washington D.C. bookstore Politics and Prose has written a review of Tracy Franz's new memoir My Year of Dirt and Water: Journal of a Zen Monk's Wife in Japan

"Franz’s beautifully crafted memoir chronicles the months that she and her husband, both Americans, lived in Japan, separated by the rules of the Zen monastery where Koun was cloistered. Presented as a diary, the book is both immediate and reflective, full of anecdotes from Franz’s daily life as a gaijin as well as meditations on time, love, culture, and more.

Franz is a compassionate and keenly observant writer, always trying to understand the rituals that shape her new life, and, as in her pottery class, always feeling she fails. Yet ultimately she learns to understand by not understanding, to see by not seeing—lessons which also help her confront the difficulties of her past. As she comes to accept the damaged and flawed parts of herself she’d once wanted only to abandon, her writing grows steadily more relaxed and humorous, her stories more vivid.

By the end, you’ll miss both Franz and the many students, colleagues, monks, and relatives she’s helped you get to know. But you’ll also recognize that letting go is part of keeping, a truth Franz gestures to in her title, with its allusion to the primary elements of pottery: what remains and what flows away."

A big thanks to Laurie G. who wrote the review, it truly is an honor! Get your copy of Tracy's book here.

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.

The Fourth String

Two women. Two cultures. One music.

Tag Cloud

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