Motions and Moments is the third book by Michael Pronko on the fluid feel and vibrant confusions of Tokyo life. These 42 new essays burrow into the unique intensities that suffuse the city and ponder what they mean to its millions of inhabitants.
Based on Pronko’s 18 years living, teaching and writing in Tokyo, these essays on how Tokyoites work, dress, commute, eat and sleep are steeped in insights into the city’s odd structures, intricate pleasures and engaging undertow.
Included are essays on living to size and loving the crowd, on Tokyo’s dizzying uncertainties and daily satisfactions, and on the 2011 earthquake. As in his first two books, this collection captures the ceaseless flow and passing flashes of life in biggest city in the world with gentle humor and rich detail.
“This book sparkles and succeeds as a love letter of sorts to Tokyo. The author’s writing is a joy to read, with wonderful phrasing and vivid descriptions…As someone who knows very little about Tokyo, I loved this book. As someone who appreciates good writing, I loved this book.” 4 out of 4 stars
This is a memoir to be savored like a fine red wine, crafted with supreme care by a man who clearly has fallen in love with his adopted city -- and we are the beneficiaries of his lyrical reflections, making us want to visit and absorb the rich megalopolis of Tokyo for ourselves.
Publishers Daily Reviews
Each essay is like a self-contained explanation of one facet of life in the context of a grander conversation, and each one is a complete work in its own right… almost like a fictional novel of short stories and vignettes rather than a collection of essays.
Ryan Jordan, Reader’s Favorite
With each new essay opening yet another window into life in this magnificent city, the book vividly captures the depth and beauty of Tokyo, bringing to life the city and the lifestyle.
Faridah Nassozi, Reader’s Favorite
Each of his essays brought me closer and closer to an appreciation of the complex and complicated place Tokyo is, and the lifestyles of those who call it home. His writing style is conversational and smooth, and I found that after finishing one essay I was eager to dive into the next one right away.
Jack Magnus, Reader’s Favorite
Praise for the first collection, Beauty and Chaos: Slices and Morsels of Tokyo Life:
"A clear-eyed but affectionate portrait of a city that reaches beyond simple stereotypes. An elegantly written, precisely observed portrait of a Japanese city and its culture." Kirkus Reviews
"Beauty and Chaos is a spectacular read. Its essays are long enough to be cohesive and provocative while remaining short and sweet. The collection is masterful and unique." Stephanie Chandler, SPR Review
“He notices the kinds of things that might be taken for granted by the Japanese and overlooked entirely by visitors.” Rebecca Foster, The Bookbag
Gold Award First Place for Cultural Non-Fiction (Reader's Favorite Awards 2015)
Gold Award (Non-Fiction Authors Association 2015)
Awards for the second collection, Tokyo’s Mystery Deepens: Essays on Tokyo:
Gold Award for Creative Non-Fiction (eLit Awards 2015)
Silver Award for Travel Essay (eLit Award 2015)
|Publisher:||Raked Gravel Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.55(d)|
Table of ContentsContents
Motions and Moments: More Essays on Tokyo
Note on the Glossary
Intro and In
City of Eyes
Part I: Surfaces
Why Ask Me?
The Language Dance
Urban Speed Poetry
Don't Drop It!
Cell Screen Tokyo
Part II: Miniatures
Fitting Things In
Fitting Me In
Small Item Heaven
My Toe in Tokyo
What's in a Name?
Thousand Armed Kannons
Part III: Constructs
Construction and Resistance
The South Side Theory
Parting the Crowd
Ugliest City in the World?
The Summer Slowing
Part IV: Quaking
Are You OK? (March 18, 2011)
Shaken Up (June 20, 2011)
Earthquake Normal (October 2011)
Is This It? (April 2012)
That Was a Bad One (June 2015)
Part V: Serenities
Learning to Love the Crowd
Tokyo Comfort City
A Meal in the Hand
Tokyo's Traditional Pauses
Jazz in Tokyo
Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
Hanami, and Just After
Arigato-s and Gozaimasu-ses