Of Princesses and Prose

We narrowly missed Princess Masako’s  (er, Prince Naruhito’s) motorcade on Friday.  There were policemen at every corner when I went to pick up Lilia at the deaf school, and also clusters of on-lookers, preparing to wave their little Japanese flags.

Princess Masako has made the front page of the newspaper two days in a row.  She looks well, in her beige pantsuits, with her Chanel handbag, but it’s hard to tell her state of mind.  This is her first public appearance in five months.

Speaking of princesses, I was both intrigued and dismayed to learn that John Burnham Schwartz has a new novel coming out.  The novel, entitled The Commoner, is inspired by the life of Empress Michiko, who has had many stress-related health problems of her own.  There is also a Masako-type princess in the story.  The book got a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly.  It’ s going to be published in January, the same month as my novel, Losing Kei.  Of course I’m going to read it, but this book has obliterated any slim chance I had of having my own novel mentioned in Vogue, Vanity Fair, etc.  There’ s no way they would mention two novels about Japan in one issue, and Schwartz, who has already published three novels, one of which has been made into a major motion picture, and who writes features for Vogue and is obivously well-connected, will get all the ink. 

5 thoughts on “Of Princesses and Prose

  1. Of was the Prince there as well? There was a short blurb in the paper about Princess M. going to Tokushima but it didn’t mention the Crown Prince at all…

    Did your MIL catch the motorcade? Your post about your MIL going to the Palace to clean the floors has stayed in my head…

    And about your book, if I were a mag reviewer, I’d look to combine the two in an article — ‘out this month are two takes on life in Japan as a powerless woman, one as a Princess, the other as a foreigner, and how the powers that be conspire in each case to make sure they will have no influence on the raising of their children…’ Could be a win-win!!

  2. I don’t think you should give up hope of being written up. They might do an article that encompasses all books from the “east” yours and JBS’s. Just like jean says.

  3. The Prince came to Tokushima as well. They were in my town for some sort of indigo dyeing symposium, but it was raining so I didn’t venture out. I think you needed to have tickets for everything anyway. A neighbor went and saw Princess Masako, and told my mother-in-law about it. My MIL didn’t go. She seems thrilled by my daughter’s interest in the princess, however.

    And, yes, that would be wonderful if someone would write about both books – mine and JBS’s – in one article. I guess I’m trying not to get my hopes up so as not to be disappointed. But I’m still hopeful.

  4. Suzanne, how did I miss that you changed blog addresses? I’ve been visiting the old one wondering why you hadn’t posted in so long….I’m so glad you have been posting!

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