The Poet and the Silk Girl: A Memoir of Love, Imprisonment, and Protest (Hardcover)

The Poet and the Silk Girl: A Memoir of Love, Imprisonment, and Protest By Satsuki Ina Cover Image

The Poet and the Silk Girl: A Memoir of Love, Imprisonment, and Protest (Hardcover)


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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.

Satsuki Ina is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in community trauma. She helps victims of oppression to claim not only their voice but also their power to transform the systems that have oppressed them. Her activism has included cofounding Tsuru for Solidarity, a nonviolent, direct-action project of Japanese American social justice advocates working to end detention sites. Ina has produced two documentaries about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans, Children of the Camps and From a Silk Cocoon. She has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, TIME, Democracy Now! and the documentary And Then They Came for Us. A professor emeritus at California State University, Sacramento, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Product Details ISBN: 9781597146265
ISBN-10: 1597146269
Publisher: Heyday Books
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English