From my grandmother's bedside : sketches of postwar Tokyo


From my grandmother's bedside : sketches of postwar Tokyo

Norma Field

University of California Press, c1997

大学図書館所蔵 件 / 32



Includes bibliographical references



From My Grandmother's Bedside is an experiment in genre, a moving and evocative reflection on contemporary Japan, human desire, family relations, life, and death. Norma Field, the daughter of a Japanese woman and an American G.I., returned to Japan in 1995 to tend to her slowly dying grandmother, who had been rendered speechless by multiple strokes. What she finds - both in the memories of her childhood in her grandmother's household and in the altered face of postmodern Japan - forms the substance of her narrative, narrative that transcends both memoir and essay to reveal, through crafted fragments, a refraction of the whole of Japan. She juxtaposes details from daily life - conversations overheard on the subway; arguments between her mother and aunts; the struggle to feed, bathe, and care for her grandmother - with observations on the political and social changes that have transformed Japan. She gently folds back the complicated layers of blame and responsibility for the war, touching in the process on subjects as diverse as the effects of the atomic bomb, comfort women, biracial/bicultural families, the last farewells of kamikaze pilots, and the dehumanizing effects of Japan's postwar economic boom.

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