A South Korean Prisoner of Conscience

In the spring of 1980, South Korea was in the hands of the military dictator Chun Doo-hwan, who had staged a coup a couple of months after the assassination of the previous military dictator, Park Chung-hee. It was a time of great social and labor upheaval, with disturbances caused by workers in various areas, demonstrations among the coal miners, industrial strikes and student demonstrations against Chun’s illegal seizure of power. Riot police were sent to squash all unrest. Chun disposed of his political rivals, dismissed the National Assembly, closed the universities and declared martial law. Then in May a peaceful Read More

My First Japanese Family

The speaker is an American lawyer, a twenty-year resident of Japan and a good friend of mine.  The interview took place in 2011.

Cathy’s story

I first came to Japan in 1982 to live with the family of my first husband, a Japanese photographer. We’d met in France when I was twenty-two years old. I’d wanted to get married because I couldn’t figure out what else to do with my life. So at twenty-three I came to Japan, as the foreign fiancée of the eldest son in a conventional Japanese family, and lived with his extended family for six months, … Read More

The Author of “When the de la Cruz Family Danced”

I first met Donna Miscolta in July 2009, when we were both in Chris Abani’s workshop at the Centrum Writers Conference at Port Townsend, Washington. I was impressed with her submission, a short story called “The Last Canasta,” which was later revised and then appeared in the Spring, 2010 issue of The Connecticut Review. Through the Squaw Valley Community of Writers alumni group, I learned of the publication of her first novel, When the de la Cruz Family Danced (2011 by Signal8Press), which deals with the immigration from the Philippines. I read the novel and immediately loved Read More