The Poet and the Silk Girl: A Memoir of Love, Imprisonment, and Protest (Hardcover)
An emotionally daring, genre blending, and hauntingly relevant memoir about mass incarceration and its echoes across generations.
In 1942 newlyweds Itaru and Shizuko Ina were settling into married life when their world was upended. Because they were Japanese Americans, they were forcibly removed from their home, branded enemy aliens, denied the rights of citizenship, and imprisoned in the complex of American concentration camps dotting the West. Weaving together diary entries, photographs, clandestine correspondences, and heart-wrenching haikus, psychotherapist Satsuki Ina--who was born to Itaru and Shizuko during their imprisonment--reveals how one young couple navigated life, love, loss, and loyalty tests in the welter of World War II-era hysteria.
As she traces the legacies of trauma, Ina--an activist and therapist--connects her family's tale to modern-day mass incarceration at the U.S.-Mexico border. She recounts the efforts of her parents and many Japanese Americans who resisted racist oppression and clung to their full humanity under extreme duress. With psychological insight, The Poet and the Silk Girl excavates the unmentionable, recovering a chronicle of resilience amidst one of the severest blows to American civil liberties. Lyrical and gripping, this cautionary tale implores us to prevent the repetition of atrocity, pairing healing and protest with galvanizing power.