I’m an American writer and mother living in rural Japan. My first novel, Losing Kei, will be published in January, 2008, by Leapfrog Press. I’m also the editor of two anthologies – The Broken Bridge: Fiction by Expatriates in Literary Japan, and a collection of literary writing on parenting disabled children, which is forthcoming from Beacon Press in spring, 2008.
I got the link for your blog off femail I think, last night. I stayed up until 12.30 in the morning reading your entire blog! It’s great. Your name keeps popping up in my life, through AFWJ I guess. Anyway I just thought I’d say hi and let you know how impressive your life sounds, balancing work and family. I am looking forward to reading your book. Congratulations. You’re a real inspiration.
Jacqui in Osaka
I wonder if you can help me trace Lise Leroux. We both suffer from the condition which is described in my web site and also living near to each other at one time,became good friends. She then moved away and we kept in touch until one day she suddenly stopped communicating. I have tried her mobile/cell phone several times and there is only a message on it. I am worried sick about her because I know she had recently been diagnosed with MS on top of everything else. I also hope that her two little dogs are still alive and keeping her company. If you do know whereabouts she is, I would be so grateful just to know that she is still alive.
I stumbled upon your blog and found we have different things in common so decided to write. The two most important things we have in common are: first, I’m a writer too and second, I’ve build a multicultural family as well as you did. Another thing we have in common from what I’ve read about you is that we are daily committed in spreading the value of diversity. I work as an intercultural mediator in schools and currently I’m in Italy, my country of origin, even if soon (hopefully within the year) I’ll be moving to another new destination.
Before writing much about me, I invite you to have a look to my website (it is also in English) http://www.valentinammaka.net and now to a blog http://valentinammaka.blogspot.com which I still need to fix and many links to add (i’ve already added yours!). I’m not sure about the look , if I’ve chosen the best blog server and so many things…. I wasn’t much keen on having a blog mostly due to very little time, anyway it is on the web!
Have a nice day !
I’ve enjoyed perusing your blog, and thought you might be interested in participating in a group blog where creative mothers support each other through the challenges of making art while being Mom. Visit us at http://creativeconstruction.wordpress.com. We’d love to have your perspective as a mother from the special needs perspective, as well as a resident of Japan. Hope to see you there!
Just wanted to say Hello and wow….
I just found your blog after reading about “Love You to Pieces” and I’m excited to purchase this book and start reading. I’m an aspiring author and the mom of two special kids, my 5 year has mosaic down syndrome, and about a year ago my 3 year old was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder. Blogging has helped me find other moms going through the same thing as me, but when I read that the title of your book I nearly fell out of my chair!
Thank you for putting this work together. I’ve posted it over at my blog.
i stumbled on your site trying to get back on afwj’s femail (which i have not accessed in a couple of years), you can tell i am procrastinating doing my taxes. i will look for your book (Losing Kei)–which i have seen reviewed or mentioned in a couple of places.
Broken Bridge has some fine pieces although to my regret it has not been easy enough (thematically or language wise) for me to use for adult Japanese women learners of english.
On another topic —
our youngest daughter is taking exams still this week for a university in tokyo. she has not gotten in to where she wants to go. bringing up bicultural children even in the “big city” of tokyo is so disheartening. i thought my family could beat the system and have a happy life thru education and bilingualism but her experience of the last year wasted in mindless cramming and spiritual emptiness has made me doubt every choice we have made.
how far along are you in raising your children? Peggy
I have a technical question for you, Suzanne. I noticed you’re using WordPress and that you’ve posted pictures. I’ve been trying to do the same, but I keep getting an error message. Would you mind telling me how you’re able to post?
I just discovered your blog, by the way. Love it!
Found your blog while reading up on japan and its issues with immigrants. I’m not alone in saying that I wish I could visit or maybe even reside in japan after or during college. Many friends back in my high school days felt the same way, though it more due to a fascination with manga and anime then anything else.
I’ve read that to become a citizen you have to renounce your native citizenship. As an american this just seems like something that goes too far even though I know countless people who have come to america and left the land of their ancesters behind forever.
I’m going to read more of your blog when I get a big chunk of free time. I’ll also look into your literary works and see if I can pick something up at the local library or amazon.com.
I really am curious as to how hard it is to try to fit in. Personally I’d like to marry a japanese girl and work at any of the big game studio’s in tokyo (studying computer science sort of relates to that I suppose. lol.), but I wouldn’t want to have kids that get discriminated against. One of my friends is korean/white and I just can’t imagine someone viewing a mix of races in a negative light. I know being only 20 I shouldn’t worry about stuff thats so far of but I figure your probably the wisest person to ask about such matters.
Sorry to hear about the passing of a neighbor. I attended the funeral of a friend who sadly passed away due to cancer a few years back. I was confused as to what to do given that his pakistani origins and resulting islamic burial were all very unfamiliar to me.
Sorry for rambling on but I really do like hearing about the experiences of expats. Would like to become one, for now I’ll settle for learning japanese off my nintendo DS and introductory college courses.
Best of luck, Alex
I have found your writing through a few blogs. I find your perspective quite interesting.
As a Canadian mother of two boys, from different cultures I can totally relate. I live in Ghana for the past 14 years – gave birth to a half Ghanaian son here, and have lived through the gamut of cross- cultural parenting experiences.
I hope to get my hands on your newest book!
In the meantime, please do visit my site as well – I blog at http://hollisramblings.blogspot.com
I’d like to send you a sample of writing to consider for any new anthology you might consider on cross cultural families – please let me know if you’d be interested.
I will be reading your site and links – thanks!
Holli in Ghana
I stumbled on your blog through some of the Down Syndrome blogs I read… my unborn baby has tested positive for Ds (more on that in my other blog, http://www.mamamommyme.blogspot.com/). I’m deaf though, and lived in Japan for 5 years – went to high school and ‘senmon gakko’ – and worked there too, in HR. I’m terribly curious about your family and how you ended up in… where is it? Tokushima? Does your daughter have a disability? I’m sorry, I’ve been looking all over your blog for the disability connection and that seems to be the only thing I can find. I was also very curious about your disability studies section – I work at UC Berkeley in disability and of course there is a very strong disability studies department and culture going on there…
If you ever have a moment to write back, I’d love to hear more about your story and how these pieces fit.
Yoroshiku onegai shimasu!
I found your article about Blondelle Malone at http://www.knowitall.org/sandlapper/Summer-08/PDFs/Malone.pdf. Thank you for that story. I am the grandson of the Paul de Launay in your story. Because of you, our family has found a relationship, letters, and at least one photo we did not know existed before. I have contacted SC Univ. and requested digital copies.
How exciting! Thank you for letting me know.
I’m still waiting to hear back from the Univ. of SC as to when I will receive the copies of my grandfather’s letters.
However, I’ve recently set up a page for those interested in following the rest of the story at http://www.MyFamilyJules.com.
Paul de Launay was a cousin of the French impressionist painter Gustave Caillebotte.
Here is a photo of my grandfather, Paul de Launay, and Blondelle Malone whom you wrote about in an article mentioned above. They lived just one block from one another in SC.
A link to a site about my family, including cousin Gustave Caillebotte, French Impressionist can be found at http://www.MyFamilyJules.com
Thank you again for you article. I hope you come visit. You can also find us at http://www.facebook.com/GustaveCailleotte