Grave on the Wall
Author: Shimoda, Brandon
Publisher: City Lights Publishers
Winner of the 2020 PEN Open Book Award
Best of 2019: Nonfiction - Entropy Magazine
A memoir and book of mourning, a grandson's attempt to reconcile his own uncontested citizenship with his grandfather's lifelong struggle.
Award-winning poet Brandon Shimoda has crafted a lyrical portrait of his paternal grandfather, Midori Shimoda, whose life--child migrant, talented photographer, suspected enemy alien and spy, desert wanderer, American citizen--mirrors the arc of Japanese America in the twentieth century. In a series of pilgrimages, Shimoda records the search to find his grandfather, and unfolds, in the process, a moving elegy on memory and forgetting.
Praise for The Grave on the Wall:
Shimoda brings his poetic lyricism to this moving and elegant memoir, the structure of which reflects the fragmentation of memories. ... It is at once wistful and devastating to see Midori's life come full circle ... In between is a life with tragedy, love, and the horrors unleashed by the atomic bomb.--Booklist, starred review
In a weaving meditation, Brandon Shimoda pens an elegant eulogy for his grandfather Midori, yet also for the living, we who survive on the margins of graveyards and rituals of our own making.--Karen Tei Yamashita, author of Letters to Memory
Sometimes a work of art functions as a dream. At other times, a work of art functions as a conscience. In the tradition of Juan Rulfo's Pedro Páramo, Brandon Shimoda's The Grave on the Wall is both. It is also the type of fragmented reckoning only America could instigate.--Myriam Gurba, author of Mean
"Within this haunted sepulcher built out of silence, loss, and grief--its walls shadowed by the traumas of racial oppression and violence--a green river lined with peach trees flows beneath a bridge that l