Strong in the Rain by Lucy Birmingham
Surviving Japan's Earthquake, Tsunami, and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

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It’s hardly consoling to say it could have been a lot worse, but what this arresting book makes clear is that it very nearly was.
-Toronto Star


Blending history, science, and gripping storytelling, Strong in the Rain brings the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan in 2011 and its immediate aftermath to life through the eyes of the men and women who experienced it. Following the narratives of six individuals, the book traces the shape of a disaster and the heroics it prompted, including that of David Chumreonlert, a Texan with Thai roots, trapped in his school's gymnasium with hundreds of students and teachers as it begins to flood, and Taro Watanabe, who thought nothing of returning to the Fukushima plant to fight the nuclear disaster, despite the effects that he knew would stay with him for the rest of his life. This is a beautifully written and moving account of how the Japanese experienced one of the worst earthquakes in history and endured its horrific consequences.


About Lucy Birmingham

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Lucy Birmingham is TIME magazine's Tokyo-based reporter and covered the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. Since coming to Japan in the mid-1980s, her work has appeared in Bloomberg News, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Forbes, Fortune, The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, and U.S. News and World Report. A board member of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, she lives in Tokyo. David McNeill writes regularly for the Independent, the Irish Times, and Japan Times, while teaching at Sophia University in Tokyo. His work has appeared in Newsweek, New Scientist, The Face, Marie Claire, New Statesman, the International Herald Tribune, The Chicago Tribune, on the BBC, RTE and CBC and in many other outlets. He is a board member of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan and chair of The Foreign Press in Japan. He lives in Japan.
Published October 30, 2012 by St. Martin's Press. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Toronto Star

Reviewed by James Macgowan on Nov 30 2012

It’s hardly consoling to say it could have been a lot worse, but what this arresting book makes clear is that it very nearly was.

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