Today’s post highlights three new books by American expat women that would make great additions to your summer reading list. Even better, you might win free copies of all three by entering a giveaway. (Details below.)
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the authors, Tracy Slater, for coffee and lunch here in Tokyo. To my delight, she gave me an early copy of her book. The Good Shufu is a lovely, moving and honest portrayal of her unexpected romance and marriage to a Japanese man. Her expat story resonates with me. Shortly after my own wedding almost 10 years ago, I left my home and career behind to follow my love to a foreign country. (The experience as a newlywed adjusting to both U.S. military and English cultures inspired me to write my own as-yet-unpublished travel memoir.) All three of these writers are Americans who have forged new lives for themselves in Asia. I applaud their bravery – both in life and in their willingness to share their very personal stories.
Now. About that giveaway. Click below by July 7 to enter for a chance to win copies of all three memoirs. Keep reading if you’d like to know a little more about each of the books, all of which are now available for purchase.
The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, & Home on the Far Side of the World
By Tracy Slater
The Good Shufu is a true story of multicultural love, marriage, and mixups. When Tracy Slater, a highly independent American academic, falls head-over-heels in love with the least likely person in the world–a traditional Japanese salaryman who barely speaks English–she must choose between the existence she’d meticulously planned in the US and life as an illiterate housewife in Osaka. Rather than an ordinary travel memoir, this is a book about building a whole life in a language you don’t speak and a land you can barely navigate, and yet somehow finding a truer sense of home and meaning than ever before. A Summer ’15 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, The Good Shufu is a celebration of the life least expected: messy, overwhelming, and deeply enriching in its complications. —Putnam/Penguin, June 30, 2015
Year of Fire Dragons: An American Woman’s Story of Coming of Age in Hong Kong
By Shannon Young
In 2010, bookish 22-year-old Shannon follows her Eurasian boyfriend to Hong Kong, eager to forge a new love story in his hometown. She thinks their long distance romance is over, but a month later his company sends him to London. Shannon embarks on a wide-eyed newcomer’s journey through Hong Kong—alone. She teaches in a local school as the only foreigner, explores Asia with other young expats, and discovers a family history of her own in Hong Kong. The city enchants her, forcing her to question her plans. Soon, she must make a choice between her new life and the love that first brought her to Asia. Susan Blumberg-Kason, author of Good Chinese Wife, has called Year of Fire Dragons “a riveting coming of age story” and “a testament to the distance people will travel for love.” — Blacksmith Books, June 7, 2015
Here Comes the Sun: A Journey to Adoption in 8 Chakras
By Leza Lowitz
At 30, Californian Leza Lowitz is single and traveling the world, which suits her just fine. Coming of age in Berkeley during the feminist revolution of the 1970s, she learned that marriage and family could wait. Or could they? When Leza moves to Japan and falls in love with a Japanese man, her heart opens in ways she never thought possible. But she’s still an outsider, and home is far away. Rather than struggle to fit in, she opens a yoga studio and makes a home for others. Then, at 44, Leza and her Japanese husband seek to adopt—in a country where bloodlines are paramount and family ties are almost feudal in their cultural importance. She travels to India to work on herself and back to California to deal with her past. Something is still not complete until she learns that when you give a little love to a child, you get the whole world in return. The author’s deep connection to yoga shows her that infertile does not mean inconceivable. By adapting and adopting, she transcends her struggles and embraces the joys of motherhood. — Stonebridge Press, June 2015