Sansei and Sensibility
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About the Author
Karen Tei Yamashita is the author of seven books, including I Hotel, finalist for the National Book Award, and most recently, Letters to Memory, all published by Coffee House Press. Recipient of the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature and a US Artists Ford Foundation Fellowship, she is Professor Emerita of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Longlisted for the 2020 Believer Book Award in Fiction
Kirkus, "Best Fiction of 2020"
Poets & Writers, "New and Noteworthy Books
Esquire, "Best Books of Spring 2020"
Literary Hub, "Most Anticipated Books of 2020"
Salon.com, "Must Read Spring Books"
Refinery29, "Best Spring Books of 2020"
"The range of characters, sparkling humor, connective themes, and creative ambition all showcase Yamashita's impressive powers." --Publishers Weekly, , starred review
"An elegantly written, wryly affectionate mashup of Jane Austen and the Japanese immigrant experience. . . . Yamashita's reimagining of Austen is sympathetic and funny--and as on target as the movie Clueless." --Kirkus, starred review
"Sansei and Sensibility challenges and delights, while laying bare the familial loyalties we work to preserve and eschew." --Boston Globe
"Karen Tei Yamashita is a contemporary virtuoso of milieu. . . . As gently humorous and entertaining as it is innovative and thought-provoking, Sansei and Sensibility is full of truths universally acknowledged, delivered in one of the most astute, idiosyncratic and important voices writing in America today." --Star Tribune
"Karen Tei Yamashita contends with the Western canon in this astute, pitch-perfect, and wryly funny short story collection. Yamashita recasts Jane Austen characters as Japanese Americans navigating themes familiar to anyone who has read Austen and her contemporaries--social tension, familial obligation, clumsy personal growth, all of the mundanities that add up to meaning--through the lens of Japanese immigrant and Japanese American experiences. A genuine pleasure to read." --Buzzfeed
"A dazzling array of short stories. . . . Yamashita explores the question of inheritance--of how and what we inherit from our cultures, families, and histories--with poignant insight and humor." --Preety Sidhu and Jae-Yeon Yoo, Electric Literature
"[C]ompelling. . . . Yamashita is a clever and spare writer. In many of her touching, surreal short stories, she uses Austen as a springboard into tales featuring Japanese Americans in California. . . . Yamashita's writing echoes the pain and strength of the Japanese American experience. A potent mashup of Austen and Japanese American culture, Sansei and Sensibility is both entertaining and profound." --BookPage
"Exciting. . . . remarkable. . . . The tone of Sansei and Sensibility is lighthearted, yes, but under the surface is outrage against persistent racism and hierarchies of cultural influence that make evoking Austen here less an act of playful transposition and more a provocation. . . . ironic, wry, playful, with bright, shimmering surfaces and undercurrents strong and political." --Ariel Djanikian, The Rumpus
"[I]t's in the section's later stories that [Yamashita's] trademark flamboyance comes forth and you can really feel her mind at work. It's that torrent of voice she can spin out of anything, whether riffing on a visit to the gastroenterologist in 'Colono: Scopy' or testing out Marie Kondo's world-famous tidying methods in 'KonMarimasu'. . . . It doesn't take a Janeite to enjoy these stories, or to sense that Yamashita's engagement with Austen runs somewhere between pa