Plum Wine by Angela Davis-Gardner
A Novel (Library of American Fiction)

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    Barbara Jefferson, a young American teaching in Tokyo in the 1960s, is set on a life-changing quest when her Japanese surrogate mother, Michi, dies, leaving her a tansu of homemade plum wines wrapped in rice paper. Within the papers Barbara discovers writings in Japanese calligraphy that comprise a startling personal narrative. With the help of her translator, Seiji Okada, Barbara begins to unravel the mysteries of Michi's life, a story that begins in the early twentieth century and continues through World War II and its aftermath.

     As Barbara and Seiji translate the plum wine papers they form an intimate bond, with Michi a ghostly third in what becomes an increasingly uneasy triangle. Barbara is deeply affected by the revelation that Michi and Seiji are hibakusha, survivors of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, and even harder for her to understand are the devastating psychological effects wrought by war. Plum Wine examines human relationships, cultural differences, and the irreparable consequences of war in a story that is both original and timeless.

2007 A Notable Fiction Book of 2007, selected by the Kiriyama Prize Committee
Winner, Fiction Award, Southern Independent Bookstore Alliance
Notable Fiction, Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize

About Angela Davis-Gardner

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Angela Davis-Gardner is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, Felice and Forms of Shelter. Her short stories and personal essays have appeared in numerous literary magazines including Shenandoah and The Greensboro Review. She is professor of creative writing at North Carolina State University.
Published April 1, 2006 by University of Wisconsin Press. 332 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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It’s 1966, and an American student named Barbara Jefferson is teaching English classes at a Japanese college.

Feb 15 2006 | Read Full Review of Plum Wine: A Novel (Library o...

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