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Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey
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W. W. Norton & Company 2015
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Description

"Read it. You will be uplifted."—Ruth Ozeki, Zen priest, author of A Tale for the Time Being


Marie Mutsuki Mockett's family owns a Buddhist temple 25 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In March 2011, after the earthquake and tsunami, radiation levels prohibited the burial of her Japanese grandfather's bones. As Japan mourned thousands of people lost in the disaster, Mockett also grieved for her American father, who had died unexpectedly.


Seeking consolation, Mockett is guided by a colorful cast of Zen priests and ordinary Japanese who perform rituals that disturb, haunt, and finally uplift her. Her journey leads her into the radiation zone in an intricate white hazmat suit; to Eiheiji, a school for Zen Buddhist monks; on a visit to a Crab Lady and Fuzzy-Headed Priest's temple on Mount Doom; and into the "thick dark" of the subterranean labyrinth under Kiyomizu temple, among other twists and turns. From the ecstasy of a cherry blossom festival in the radiation zone to the ghosts inhabiting chopsticks, Mockett writes of both the earthly and the sublime with extraordinary sensitivity. Her unpretentious and engaging voice makes her the kind of companion a reader wants to stay with wherever she goes, even into the heart of grief itself.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/19/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780393246742
ASIN:
B00L3KQ1JK
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Marie Mutsuki Mockett. (2015). Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey. W. W. Norton & Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Marie Mutsuki Mockett. 2015. Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey. W. W. Norton & Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Marie Mutsuki Mockett, Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey. W. W. Norton & Company, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Marie Mutsuki Mockett. Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey. W. W. Norton & Company, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Updated:
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      • bioText: Marie Mutsuki Mockett's novel Picking Bones from Ash was shortlisted for the 2010 Saroyan Prize and the Asian American Literary Awards for Fiction and was a finalist for the Paterson Prize. She has written for the New York Times, Salon, National Geographic, and other publications. She lives in San Francisco.
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shortDescription

"Read it. You will be uplifted."—Ruth Ozeki, Zen priest, author of A Tale for the Time Being

Marie Mutsuki Mockett's family owns a Buddhist temple 25 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In March 2011, after the earthquake and tsunami, radiation levels prohibited the burial of her Japanese grandfather's bones. As Japan mourned thousands of people lost in the disaster, Mockett also grieved for her American father, who had died unexpectedly.

Seeking consolation, Mockett is guided by a colorful cast of Zen priests and ordinary Japanese who perform rituals that disturb, haunt, and finally uplift her. Her journey leads her into the radiation zone in an intricate white hazmat suit; to Eiheiji, a school for Zen Buddhist monks; on a visit to a Crab Lady and Fuzzy-Headed Priest's temple on Mount Doom; and into the "thick dark" of the subterranean labyrinth under Kiyomizu temple, among other twists and turns. From the ecstasy of a...

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title
Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye
fullDescription

"Read it. You will be uplifted."—Ruth Ozeki, Zen priest, author of A Tale for the Time Being

Marie Mutsuki Mockett's family owns a Buddhist temple 25 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In March 2011, after the earthquake and tsunami, radiation levels prohibited the burial of her Japanese grandfather's bones. As Japan mourned thousands of people lost in the disaster, Mockett also grieved for her American father, who had died unexpectedly.

Seeking consolation, Mockett is guided by a colorful cast of Zen priests and ordinary Japanese who perform rituals that disturb, haunt, and finally uplift her. Her journey leads her into the radiation zone in an intricate white hazmat suit; to Eiheiji, a school for Zen Buddhist monks; on a visit to a Crab Lady and Fuzzy-Headed Priest's temple on Mount Doom; and into the "thick dark" of the subterranean labyrinth under Kiyomizu temple, among other twists and turns. From the ecstasy of a cherry blossom festival in the radiation zone to the ghosts inhabiting chopsticks, Mockett writes of both the earthly and the sublime with extraordinary sensitivity. Her unpretentious and engaging voice makes her the kind of companion a reader wants to stay with wherever she goes, even into the heart of grief itself.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Richard Lloyd Parry;New York Times Book Review
      • content: An intriguing . . . travelogue through a landscape of Japanese spiritual belief, with forays into history, folklore, and memoir. [Mockett] has the ability, fully available only to those on the margins, "to see through more than one set of eyes, if one learns to pay attention to one's environment." It is this gift of double-sightedness, of bringing to bear both the "dry" rationality of the West and the "sticky" sensibilities professed by the Japanese, that makes this the most interesting book so far to have come out of the disaster.
      • premium: False
      • source: San Francisco Chronicle
      • content: A fascinating, wide-reaching exploration.
      • premium: False
      • source: San Jose Mercury News
      • content: Affecting . . . effectively evokes the beauty of Japanese culture and the sorrow that swept the country in the tsunami's wake.
      • premium: False
      • source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
      • content: Mockett skillfully knits together a portrait of loss and recovery, pulling together many individuals' experience of grief into a collective search for peace.
      • premium: False
      • source: The Japan Times
      • content: An illuminating journey into grief and Japanese culture, a place that few would dare to venture.
      • premium: False
      • source: Luis Alberto Urrea, Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Devil's Highway
      • content: Marie Mockett brought me into the high drama of the tsunami, through her most personal landscape, and into the awe of the eternal.
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal, Starred review
      • content: This illuminating journey through loss, faith, and perseverance . . . gives the reader a rare view into one of the richest death cultures in the world.
      • premium: False
      • source: Gail Tsukiyama, author of A Hundred Flowers
      • content: Richly layered in culture and insight, Mockett takes us on a compelling and illuminating journey of the heart and soul.
      • premium: False
      • source: Heidi W. Durrow, New York Times best-selling author of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky
      • content: A beautiful tale that is part evocative travelogue and part lyrical meditation on grief, this soulful and haunting book made me cry in a way I like to cry when reading a good book.
      • premium: False
      • source: Will Schwalbe, author of the New York Times bestseller The End of Your Life Book Club
      • content: What a remarkable and moving book about traveling from one land to another, and learning different ways of coming to terms with death amid life. Engrossing and powerful, it speaks volumes about the many ways people grieve and live.
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 20, 2014
        In her memoir, which takes place shortly after the To¯hoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, novelist Mockett (Picking Bones from Ash) embarks on a poignant spiritual journey through Japan, seeking solace after the death of her American father three years earlier and to bury her Japanese grandfather’s bones. Touching on themes of modernity and tradition, Mockett takes part in various religious customs to come to terms with her grief and understand her mixed-cultural heritage. Beautiful folklore like the story of Moon Princess or the celestial princess weaver Orihime imbue the book with a sense of mystery and authenticity. The author’s background as novelist is evident in her skilled descriptions of the changing seasons—the pink cherry blossoms of spring or the neon rice paddies in autumn—which combine with nuanced details of the nation’s struggle after the March disaster to provide an intimate snapshot of the island nation’s complex culture. Although Mockett’s upbringing gives the memoir the sense of an outsider looking in, at times the comparisons of Japan to the West weigh heavy on the narrative and can distract from the story. Agent: Irene Skolnick, Irene Skolnick Literary Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        December 1, 2014

        There is a rich cultural history on the interplay between Shinto, Japan's native religion, and Buddhism, which was officially introduced to the country in the sixth century. Mockett (Picking Bones from Ash) mixes memoir, travelog, and a study of the sociology of death to look at how the unique character of Japanese spirituality helps individuals and the nation cope with loss. The author's story begins with her family's Buddhist temple in Iwaki, a coastal city 25 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and takes the reader to the places where the dead gather in Japan, such as a Buddhist temple on Mount Koya and onward to Sai no Kawara, a riverbank where the souls of children congregate. VERDICT This illuminating journey through loss, faith, and perseverance will appeal to both readers of Pico Iyer and current nonfiction on death culture, such as Caitlin Doughty's Smoke Gets in your Eyes and Mary Roach's Stiff. The author's unique access to Buddhist priests gives the reader a rare view into one of the richest death cultures in the world. [See Prepub Alert, 7/28/14.]--John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll., Boston

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
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publisher
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