Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Japanese Custom

My short story, "A Japanese Custom," was published in this month's issue of MTLS.  If you feel like it, you can read it here.  It's loosely based on the stories that my grandmother, Kayaco, told me over the years....  Growing up, I always loved how she would reminisce at family gatherings about her girlhood in BC, back in the days before the Japanese-Canadians had lost everything, and her spunk never failed to astonish to me.  I wrote this story two summers ago for U of T's Summer Writing School (Alissa York was an inspiring instructor).  Although I liked the story at the time, rereading it now I feel that in many ways this slice of life doesn't do justice to my grandmother.  Oh well.  I guess my feeling of sweaty-palm-dissatisfaction may push me to write a novel about her....

Photo from: here


Mimi said...

What a spunky, unique woman your grandmother was or is! The "Chotto" vignette was an entertaining read for my insomnia last night.

Bushpig.vrc said...

And the lead picture looks like anko-tempura. Yum!

Leslie Shimotakahara said...

Glad you enjoyed it! Sadly, my grandmother's memory has started to fail, so her stories are not as vivid as they used to be. I'm depicting her as I remember her from fifteen or twenty years ago. And she used to make excellent tempura - far better than at any restaurant.


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Toronto, ON, Canada
Leslie Shimotakahara is a writer and recovering academic, who wanted to be simply a writer from before the time she could read. Hard-pressed to answer her parents’ question of how she would support herself as a writer, Leslie got drawn into the labyrinthine study of literature, completing her B.A. in Honours English from McGill in 2000, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Modern American Literature from Brown in 2006. After graduation, she taught English at St. Francis Xavier University for two years. Leslie woke up one morning and realized that she’d had enough of the Ivory Tower. The fact that she wasn’t doing what she wanted to do with her life loomed over her, and the realization was startling. It was time to stop studying and passively observing life and do something real instead. She needed to discover herself and tell her own story. This blog and the book she has written under the same title (Variety Crossing Press, spring 2012) are her foray. Leslie's writing has been published in WRITE, TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, and GENRE.