Rachel's Reviews > Through Harsh Winters: The Life of a Japanese Immigrant Woman

Through Harsh Winters by Akemi Kikumura
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's review
Jan 05, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: biography-memoir, asian-american, non-fiction
Read from December 31, 2010 to January 04, 2011

Written by a UCLA anthropologist, this is the transcribed oral history of the author's mother, an Issei who came to the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century and worked along with her husband as an itinerant farmer for much of her life. Published in 1981, it has often cited by other authors of Asian-American history or fiction. The book is in three parts: the oral history itself, reflections by the author, and a section on methodology. Although it's a short book, there's some redundancy in the various sections; Kikumura often repeats the same explanatory material parenthetically within the text, in the endnotes, and in the appendices. The writing is somewhat dry and scholarly, but the book itself is an important research source.

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