SBP Blog

The Literary Review on Shun Medoruma's 'In the Woods of Memory'

Intern Intern - Monday, April 02, 2018

The Literary Review just wrote a penetrating and eloquent article on Shun Medoruma's novel In the Woods of Memory, asserting that it's "not simply a meditation on the failure to act, but on the inability to act either rightly or enough or both."

Here's a particularly incisive passage:

War, rape, and stabbings notwithstanding, the most viscerally gruesome and emotionally demeaning chapter plays out in a present day Okinawan middle school. When a chronically bullied pre-teen girl is forced to drink other girls’ spit, she throws up, and then takes the blame (both internally and publically) for the incident. As the girl who orchestrated the attack offers to take bullied girl to the school nurse, (“—Let’s wash your face, she says in a gentle voice”) the reader’s stomach turns. The act completes the cycle of abuse, where the controlling party torments and then care-takes the victim, leaving the wounded in anticipatory angst, in the same way that the Americans ravaged, then provided food and protection for, and then re-attacked, the Okinawan people. These scenes exemplify both the depth of violation betrayals of the body can incur and the added layer of horror present when your attacker has convinced you, despite past evidence, that they will not harm you again. This deep desire to believe you’re safe means that when another assault occurs, you erroneously blame yourself both for bringing the attack on and for your naiveté.

Read the full book review here: http://ow.ly/w8fm30jhmWU

 

 


Like our blog? Please share it!

Categories

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

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