North American Titles

Bill Freind - Scubadivers & Chrysanthemums


Bill Freind - Scubadivers & Chrysanthemums

Paperback, 339pp, 9x6ins

Download a PDF sampler from this book here.

"Araki Yasusada, allegedly a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, had his work published posthumously and in translation in the mid-1990s. The work was widely praised and seemed to fuse traditional Japanese forms and themes with more innovative North American techniques and a sprinkling of French critical theory. However, Yasusada was an invention, and while no one claimed responsibility for the work, most readers agree that Kent Johnson was the creator, although Johnson insists the actual author is Tosa Motokiyu, the pseudonym for an unnamed writer who is now dead.


To oversimplify somewhat, the initial debate about Yasusada essentially fell into two camps. Those who praised Yasusada saw the poems as an empathetic and moving testament to the atrocity of the bombing of Hiroshima and, by extension, Nagasaki.

Those critical of Yasusada often emphasized the ethical questions surrounding an author of (presumably) European descent not only appropriating the voice of a hibakusha, or survivor of the atomic bombing, but also employing some of the more familiar stereotypes of East Asia in general, and Japan in particular." —Bill Freind

The book includes essays by Bill Freind, Eliot Weinberger, Marjorie Perloff, Forrest Gander, Mikhail Epstein, Kent Johnson, Brian McHale, Paisley Rekdal, Jenny Boully, Alex Verdolini, Eric R. J. Hayot, Jacob Edmond, Martin Corless-Smith, Farid Matuk, David Rosenberg, David Wojahn, Hosea Hirata and Dan Hoy.


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