Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories: Revised and expanded edition, with 4 new stories. / Edition 1

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Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories brings together fifteen stories that span Hisaye Yamamoto's forty-year career. It was her first book to be published in the United States. Yamamoto's themes include the cultural conflicts between the first generation, the Issei and their children, the Nisei; coping with prejudice; and the World War II internment of Japanese Americans.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Imbued with the serenity of authority, these stories ably conduct the reader through the Japanese experience in America, from the oil fields of Redondo Beach to the internment camps of WW II, through the lives of young and old as they confront American customs, manners and culture. Yamamoto's stories also depict the stained relationships between Japanese immigrants and the nisei (American-born Japanese). Yet the author does not confine herself to ethnic issues. In ``The High-Heeled Shoes: A Memoir,'' for example, the subtle forms of sexual harassment are delineated; a woman's obsession with expressing herself through the condensed poetry of haiku, and her husband's objections are explored in the title story. The inexplicable tragedies of everyday life, an inconsolable mourner, a desertion by a friend, the endless quest for an illusory prosperity (as in the stories ``The Brown House'' and ``Las Vegas Charley) are underscored by a forlorn nostalgia for a history and a culture that fails to be transmitted from one generation to the next. Yamamoto, the daughter of Japanese immigrants, makes a welcome American debut.
Library Journal
Yamamoto, winner of the 1986 American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Before Columbus Foundation, is a talented and sensitive writer whose work often focuses on the conflict between the Issei (first-generation Japanese Americans) and the Nissei (second-generation Japanese Americans). The two stories collected here are ``Seventeen Syllables'' and ``Yoneko's Earthquake,'' in which the author paints in scant strokes the pain and suffering of Issei mothers through the eyes of Nissei daughters. The accompanying material--interviews with the author, a chronology of highlights from Japanese American history, and critical essays--provides useful background for understanding and teaching the two short stories, upon which Emiko Omori's movie Hot Summer Winds is based. As a more complete collection of Yamamoto's short stories, however, Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories (Kitchen Table, 1988) is a much better buy for most libraries.-- Cherry W. Li, Univ. of Southern California Lib., Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813529530
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Edition description: Revised and Expanded
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 206
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

The High-Heeled Shoes, A Memoir 1
Seventeen Syllables 8
The Legend of Miss Sasagawara 20
Wilshire Bus 34
The Brown House 39
Yoneko's Earthquake 46
Morning Rain 57
Epithalamium 60
Las Vegas Charley 70
Life Among the Oil Fields, A Memoir 86
The Eskimo Connection 96
My Father Can Beat Muhammad Ali 105
Underground Lady 109
A Day in Little Tokyo 114
Reading and Writing 122
Preface to the Revised and Expanded Edition 129
Death Rides the Rails to Poston 131
Eucalyptus 142
A Fire in Fontana 150
Florentine Gardens 158
Selected Bibliography 173
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