Hiroshima in the Morning

Hiroshima in the Morning

by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

Paperback

$16.95
View All Available Formats & Editions
Usually ships within 1 week

Overview

In June 2001 Rahna Reiko Rizzuto travels to Hiroshima to interview survivors of the atomic bomb, while her husband and two young sons remain in New York. But initial interviews feel rehearsed, and the survivors reveal little beyond already published accounts. Then September 11 changes everything. The vulnerability exposed by the attacks shatters the survivors' carefully constructed narratives. They open up to Rizzuto in astonishing ways, describing in detail their agonizing experiences.

Separated from her family as the world seems to be falling apart, Rizzuto sees her marriage begin to crumble as she questions her role as a wife and mother. The parallel narratives of Hiroshima in the survivors' own words, and of Rizzuto's personal awakening show memory not as history, but as a story we tell ourselves to explain who we are.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781558616677
Publisher: Feminist Press at CUNY, The
Publication date: 09/01/2010
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,237,666
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Rahna Reiko Rizzuto ’s highly acclaimed first novel, Why She Left Us , won an American Book Award in 2000, and was praised by the New York Times as “ambitious, lyrical, and intriguing.” She is a recipient of the US/Japan Creative Artist Fellowship, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which inspired her memoir, Hiroshima in the Morning ; she is also the associate editor of The NuyorAsian Anthology: Asian American Writings About New York City ; and she is a faculty member in the MFA in creative writing program at Goddard College where she teaches fiction and nonfiction. Her essays and short stories have appeared in journals and newspapers including the Los Angeles Times , Salon , and the Crab Creek Review , and in anthologies including Mothers Who Think , Because I Said So , and Topography of War . Rizzuto is half-Japanese/half-Caucasian. She grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii and now lives in Brooklyn.

Table of Contents

Prologue 9

Part I If Hiroshima 17

Part II In the Morning 83

Part III After the Bomb 141

Part IV Like A Dream 171

Part V One Must Ask Whose? 245

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Hiroshima in the Morning 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I chose to read this book for my project. I thought the book was good, however, the author described more about her life than the actual event of Hiroshima. I would have been more interested in reading about the bombing rather than her very personal life.
writestuff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the Spring of 2001, author Rahna Reiko Rizzuto packed up her bags and moved to Japan on a six month research grant, leaving behind her husband Brian and her two young sons. At the time, her intent was to gather interviews and information for a new novel revolving around the 1945 US bombing of Hiroshima. What she did not know, is that her journey was to open doors to much deeper issues: her marriage, her role as mother, her memories of her own family¿and ultimately her own vision of herself.Early on, Rizzuto faced difficulties with the Japanese language and culture. It was hard to get interviews set up and when she did talk to the survivors of Hiroshima (the hibakusha) the stories felt rote and practiced. Something was missing. And then September 11, 2001 arrived, and everything changed.How we tell our stories makes all the difference. They are where we store our tears, where the eventual healing lies. If ¿we¿ are talking, then we are safe in our group perspective; we do not have to own our experience alone, nor do we have to feel it. What September 11 gave to the hibakusha, and what they gave in turn to me, is a way to re-enter memory. As scary, and painful, as it is to claim our pronouns, ¿we¿ cannot inhabit our own lives until ¿I¿ begins to speak. - from Hiroshima in the Morning, page 239 -Hiroshima in the Morning is a stunning, deeply felt, and brave memoir. Rizzuto was drawn to Hiroshima from a very personal place ¿ her aunt Molly lived in Hiroshima shortly after the bomb dropped, working for a government organization whose public goal was to assist the survivors, but whose actual role was to research the effects of the atomic bomb; and members of Rizzuto¿s family had been interned in the United States as part of the knee-jerk reaction to imprison U.S. citizens who were of Japanese descent. Rizzuto thought that what she was seeking was a question of how war impacts individuals; about how Japanese-Americans had no home after the bomb ¿ they were not welcome in the United States, and those who returned to Japan quickly discovered they were not considered Japanese either.What makes Hiroshima in the Morning special is not the questions which Rizzuto first set out to answer, but the very personal growth and discovery that becomes the central theme of the book. Woven through the narrative are Rizzuto¿s memories of her mother ¿ a woman who was without question a wonderful mother, and who now was losing her memories to dementia. As Rizzuto struggles with her own role as mother, she begins to see her mother in a different way. The journey for Rizzuto becomes that of uncovering her own identity, separate from her role as mother.How, in a life that always seemed defined by all she didn¿t do, could my mother have also been a woman? And what kind? How can it be only now, at age thirty-seven, that I am learning that a mother is also a woman? A female adult, with her own name? ¿ from Hiroshima in the Morning, page 190 -By the time I had turned the last page of this elegant memoir, I had grown to respect the author¿especially because of her brutal self-honesty and her courage to reveal things about herself which many people would not. Here was a mother who had left behind her three and five year old sons in order to pursue her dreams, who must have recognized she would be judged by others for that choice. Yet, Rizzuto bravely puts forth her experience, showing us that perhaps there are multiple definitions of what it means to be a mother¿that identity is more than a role which we play, but instead is something that evolves and changes and is made up of many aspects: our heritage, our common experience, the choices we make, our view of the world.Rizzuto¿s prose is breathtaking, poetic, and insightful. I loved this book on so many levels, but especially for its wisdom. What Rizzuto does in Hiroshima in the Morning is to place the individual within the context of the community, to show that we are all co
nbmars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the early morning hours of August 6, 1945, a B-29 bomber named Enola Gay dropped a 9,700-pound uranium bomb over the city of Hiroshima. The yield of the explosion was later estimated at 15 kilotons (the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT). Within minutes 9 out of 10 people half a mile or less from ground zero were dead. The numerous small fires that erupted simultaneously all around the city soon merged into one large firestorm, eventually engulfing 4.4 square miles of the city, killing anyone who had not escaped in the first minutes after the attack. Several days after the blast, the death rate began to climb from radiation sickness. Radiation sickness deaths did not taper off until seven to eight weeks after the attack.No one will ever know for certain how many were killed by the bomb. Some 70,000 people probably died as a result of initial blast, heat, and radiation effects. By the end of 1945, because of the lingering effects of radioactive fallout and other after effects, the Hiroshima death toll was probably over 100,000. The five-year death total may have reached or even exceeded 200,000, from cancer and other long-term effects.In 2001, the author, a 37-year-old Japanese-American writer, left her husband and children behind in New York and went to Hiroshima to interview the hibakusha, or survivors of the atomic bomb detonation. This memoir intersperses excerpts from her interviews with a chronicle of her trip, its effect on her marriage, and her simultaneous struggles adjusting to her mother¿s increasing dementia.Initially, Rizzuto felt as if she were getting ¿canned¿ responses in interviews, intellectually detached and devoid of emotion. After September 11, however, she found that her interviewees were opening up to her more, as the sharing of a tragedy created a link that was missing before.The hibakusha universally deplored the bellicose response of the United States, believing that, as Rizzuto summarized it:"...war seemed to be an act that could only be possible if we could fool ourselves into believing that other people's children were not as precious, or human, as our own.¿Meanwhile, however, Rizzuto¿s husband, who had seen a plane hit the World Trade Center, fully subscribed to the jingoism that overtook the country. It helped drive them apart. Because back in Hiroshima, the author was hearing testimony about family members who were ¿vaporized, carbonized, melted, crushed, poisoned, maimed, and burned.¿ Or this report, from a former surgical intern:"I went back to the hospital after the war ended, on the seventeenth of August. The ceiling had collapsed, the walls were broken down, the window glass was smashed into pieces. ¿ On the ground, just in front of the hospital building, a huge pile of dead bodies were being cremated.That was eleven days after the bombing. There were still patients everywhere¿Since it was summer, they did not need futons. But the maggots ¿ I was amazed by the great number of maggots and flies. On bodies, on food, on whatever you had. You could see the maggots moving inside people¿s wounds ¿The doctors took charge¿but there was no medicine, no medical supplies. People were asking for help ¿ some were shouting, but in most cases, there were only low groans.It was unbearable.¿Evaluation: I have to admit I was less interested in the author¿s fights with her husband and repeated expressions of sorrow about her mother¿s deterioration than with her interactions with survivors in Japan. In telling her personal story, she could be somewhat repetitive. I also thought the experiences of the survivors of both the internment camps in the U.S. and in Hiroshima itself deserved more space than her personal memoir did. Nevertheless, it¿s worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 I am a high school sophomore and I chose to read this book for my project. I thought this book was good because of the many accounts it gave about the survivors and their struggles after the bomb. also liked that this book explains her experiences when she visited some of memorials dedicated to the atomic bombing and how it felt to be there. However, I found that the book went into too much detail when it came to her personal life. I also found that it did not have all the information I needed to complete my project without the use of other resources. At some parts in the book she also went into too much detail about her struggles in Japan instead of the bombing itself. I would have liked to have read more about the survivors and how they dealt with the attack and more about the atomic bomb itself. I would have also liked to have read more about how the survivors are doing today and how their children were affected by the bombing as well as how they feel about the nuclear weapons that around the world today. Overall, this was a book if you wanted to read more about the survivors in the aftermath of the bombing. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago