Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Japan & India Journals, 1960-1964” as Want to Read:
The Japan & India Journals, 1960-1964
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Japan & India Journals, 1960-1964

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  57 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Published originally in 1981 as Japan and India Journals: 1960-1964, Strange Big Moon is Joanne Kyger's journal of her years in Japan and India as a young poet in her late twenties during four tumultuous years. They are years in which Kyger is developing a poetic sensibility and a Buddhist practice, which would become cornerstones of her life. She came back to San Francisc ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published 1981 by Tombouctou
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Japan & India Journals, 1960-1964, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Japan & India Journals, 1960-1964

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Forrest Gander
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastically attentive and personal glimpse into a moment in time when Joanne Kyger was coming into her own as a poet in the company of Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Clayton Eshleman, and Allen Ginsberg-- a lot of male energy-- as well as artists such as the wonderful Mark di Suvero. She lives in Japan, travels to India, sees The Mother in Pondicherry, watches Ginsberg turn into an egocentric bore in front of the Dalai Lama, etc. Much of her wrestling with herself in her diaries can be seen, in r ...more
Aug 03, 2007 rated it liked it
Fantastic journal! Good for a lot of things, but what I got out of it (aside from Kyger's sharp observations & witty take on things new age) was it cleared out the cobwebs of hero-worship that I had built up at an early age in regard to Gary Snyder, who comes off as not just human, but quite an asshole. Now, anyone might expect such from an ex-wife, but Kyger tries very hard to be kind in her rendering of him, and even though her predjudices are obvious, the guy treats her like shit. No ques ...more
Connie Kronlokken
This book is a hoot. Joanne Kyger, as a 26-year-old, went to Japan to see Gary Snyder. "If you are going to live together, you must get married," said the head of the Zen Institute. So they did. It wasn't very successful, but the two of them were comrades while Gary studied and Joanne gardened, did flower arranging, thought about poetry and took care of the cats. Sounded like a somewhat hectic expat life in Kyoto from 1960 to 1964. Authenticity was important to Kyger, a spirited woman not afraid ...more
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pulchritudinous: as in Mahalia Jackson swinging it.
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad I read this, but at the same time it's a really dry book that I wouldn't recommend to others. As Kyger writes in the introduction, "These journals were never rewritten or polished up for publication," and it's first and foremost someone's notebook, with all the to-do lists, lists of names of people she had dinner with the night before, etc, that come with the territory. I should also note that she was married to the legendary writer Gary Snyder at the time of these journals, which is wh ...more
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love these journals. Yes they are a fascinating and in-depth account of the life of expatriates in the early sixties in Japan, and yes, they are the record of a tumultuous relationship between one of the most important poets of the last 50 years (Gary Snyder)and his then wife, Joanne Kyger, who I count as one of the great poets of the post-beat generation.
Most of all Strange Big Moon teaches us about great journal/diary style and the attempt to be as honest as possible with one's observations.
Nicole D'Amato
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FINALLY a book about the woman's perspective on the beats. This was an awesome read and I felt like I really got to know Gary Snyder and Joanne Kyger through her journals. My good friend, Jared, recommended this to me before I departed on a trip to Japan - he lent it to me for my travels. Unfortunately, I didn't make it due to the tsunami - but I read the book anyways. Great read.
Sep 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
she reminds me of the simple human observer & my capacity to honor that in me & my own writing. what little things are you noticing? do you think everything matters? what about the persistent & determined work of writing & living? and another piece of the "beat history" drawn in to the puzzle.
Kristin Brenemen
Jun 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kristin by: exmemoriter
This is such a zen journal, true as advertised. Easy to consume in large bites despite being made of tiny pieces. A travel through Japan and India, but also through finding oneself and growing a marriage.
Sep 08, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: india, japan, kyger-joanne
Michael Wolfe
rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jan 29, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2007
Anna Rose
rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Jul 01, 2008
Allison HedgeCoke
rated it it was amazing
Sep 05, 2007
rated it it was amazing
Aug 31, 2013
rated it really liked it
Nov 21, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2008
Phil Dickinson
rated it it was amazing
Jun 05, 2016
rated it liked it
Jun 24, 2007
rated it liked it
Apr 14, 2016
Rachel Smathers
rated it it was amazing
Nov 20, 2012
rated it really liked it
Apr 22, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jun 16, 2008
rated it it was ok
May 16, 2017
John Owens
rated it it was amazing
May 02, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Aug 09, 2007
rated it it was amazing
Jan 18, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Jul 02, 2008
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Joanne Kyger was an American poet. She published more than twenty books of poetry and prose. Kyger lived in Bolinas, California since 1968, where she edited the local newspaper. She also occasionally taught at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics of Naropa University, in Boulder, Colorado.
More about Joanne Kyger...