Join Japanese American authors Susan Ito and Tamiko Nimura as they read from their books and talk about the rewards and challenges of writing about family. We’ll be celebrating the November 4 publication of Susan’s memoir I Would Meet You Anywhere. Tamiko will be reading from her family memoir in progress. Hosted by King’s Books and sponsored by Creative Colloquy. Join us for conversation, light refreshments, and special giveaways.
Growing up with adoptive nisei parents, Susan Kiyo Ito knew only that her birth mother was Japanese American and her father white. But finding and meeting her birth mother in her early twenties was only the beginning of her search for answers, history, and identity. Though the two share a physical likeness, an affinity for ice cream, and a relationship that sometimes even feels familial, there is an ever-present tension between them, as a decades-long tug-of-war pits her birth mother’s desire for anonymity against Ito’s need to know her origins, to see and be seen. Along the way, Ito grapples with her own reproductive choices, the legacy of the Japanese American incarceration experience during World War II, and the true meaning of family. An account of love, what it’s like to feel neither here nor there, and one writer’s quest for the missing pieces that might make her feel whole, I Would Meet You Anywhere is the stirring culmination of Ito’s decision to embrace her right to know and tell her own story.
Susan Ito began reading at the age of three, and writing stories at the age six. She co-edited the literary anthology A Ghost At Heart’s Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption. Her work has appeared in The Writer, Growing Up Asian American, Choice, Hip Mama, Literary Mama, Catapult, Hyphen,The Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. She is a member of the Writers’ Grotto, and teaches at Mills College/Northeastern University and Bay Path University. She lives in Northern California and has family ties to Tacoma.
Tamiko Nimura is an award-winning Asian American creative nonfiction writer, community journalist, and public historian living in Tacoma. Tamiko writes about family, memory, history, and silence—not necessarily in that order. She is co-author of the graphic novel We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration (Chin Music Press/Wing Luke Museum), which was selected as the Adult Book representing Washington State at the 2023 National Book Festival. Tamiko’s words and work have appeared in a variety of outlets, including San Francisco Chronicle, Zócalo Public Square, Discover Nikkei, Nichibei, Narratively, The Rumpus, and Seattle’s International Examiner. Tamiko is the direct descendant of Japanese American World War II incarcerees, and has worked to keep this history alive through her writing and public speaking.