Praise for The Grave on the Wall:
"Shimoda brings his poetic lyricism to this moving and elegant memoir, the structure of which reflects the fragmentation of memories. … It is at once wistful and devastating to see Midori's life come full circle … In between is a life with tragedy, love, and the horrors unleashed by the atomic bomb."—Booklist, starred review
"In a weaving meditation, Brandon Shimoda pens an elegant eulogy for his grandfather Midori, yet also for the living, we who survive on the margins of graveyards and rituals of our own making."—Karen Tei Yamashita, author of Letters to Memory
"Sometimes a work of art functions as a dream. At other times, a work of art functions as a conscience. In the tradition of Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo, Brandon Shimoda's The Grave on the Wall is both. It is also the type of fragmented reckoning only America could instigate."—Myriam Gurba, author of Mean
“Within this haunted sepulcher built out of silence, loss, and grief—its walls shadowed by the traumas of racial oppression and violence—a green river lined with peach trees flows beneath a bridge that leads back to the grandson."—Jeffrey Yang, author of Hey, Marfa: Poems
"It is part dream, part memory, part forgetting, part identity. It is a remarkable exploration of how citizenship is forged by the brutal US imperial forces—through slave labor, forced detention, indiscriminate bombing, historical amnesia and wall. If someone asked me, Where are you from? I would answer, From The Grave on the Wall."—Don Mee Choi, author of Hardly War
"Shimoda intercedes into the absences, gaps and interstices of the present and delves the presence of mystery. This mystery is part of each of us. Shimoda outlines that mystery in silence and silhouette, in objects left behind at site-specific travels to Japan and in the disparate facts of his grandpa’s FBI file. Gratitude to Brandon Shimoda for taking on the mystery which only literature accepts as the basic challenge."—Sesshu Foster, author of City of the Future
"Shimoda is a mystic writer … He puts what breaches itself (always) onto the page, so that the act of writing becomes akin to paper-making: an attention to fibers, coagulation, texture and the water-fire mixtures that signal irreversible alteration or change. … he has written a book that touches the bottom of my own soul."—Bhanu Kapil, author of Ban en Banlieue
* Provides excerpts from nearly two dozen original documents, including legislation, letters, essays, and other materials related to the sanctioning of discrimination against the Chinese in the United States
* Presents a chronology of significant actions and events that preceded and facilitated passage of the Exclusion Act, as well as occurrences after its passage and leading to its repeal
* Includes a bibliography of over 60 significant sources that reflect attitudes, news reports, and legislation from the time of the Exclusion Act and contemporary viewpoints on the historical event
* Contains a helpful glossary of terms commonly employed in a discussion of the Chinese-American experience and passage of the Exclusion Act
By the time she was eleven years old, Eunsun's father and grandparents had died of starvation, and Eunsun was in danger of the same. Finally, her mother decided to escape North Korea with Eunsun and her sister, not knowing that they were embarking on a journey that would take them nine long years to complete. Before finally reaching South Korea and freedom, Eunsun and her family would live homeless, fall into the hands of Chinese human traffickers, survive a North Korean labor camp, and cross the deserts of Mongolia on foot.
Now, Eunsun is sharing her remarkable story to give voice to the tens of millions of North Koreans still suffering in silence. Told with grace and courage, her memoir is a riveting exposé of North Korea's totalitarian regime and, ultimately, a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit.
In the Hmong tradition, the song poet recounts the story of his people, their history and tragedies, joys and losses; extemporizing or drawing on folk tales, he keeps the past alive, invokes the spirits and the homeland, and records courtships, births, weddings, and wishes.
Following her award-winning book The Latehomecomer, Kao Kalia Yang now retells the life of her father Bee Yang, the song poet, a Hmong refugee in Minnesota, driven from the mountains of Laos by American's Secret War. Bee lost his father as a young boy and keenly felt his orphanhood. He would wander from one neighbor to the next, collecting the things they said to each other, whispering the words to himself at night until, one day, a song was born. Bee sings the life of his people through the war-torn jungle and a Thai refugee camp. But the songs fall away in the cold, bitter world of a Minneapolis housing project and on the factory floor until, with the death of Bee's mother, the songs leave him for good. But before they do, Bee, with his poetry, has polished a life of poverty for his children, burnished their grim reality so that they might shine.
Written with the exquisite beauty for which Kao Kalia Yang is renowned, The Song Poet is a love story -- of a daughter for her father, a father for his children, a people for their land, their traditions, and all that they have lost.