Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Announcing the winner of the 2010 Grub Street Book Prize in Non-Fiction

"Grub Street is thrilled to announce that Rahna Reiko Rizzuto has won our 2010 National Book Prize in Non-Fiction for her memoir, Hiroshima in the Morning, published by The Feminist Press.
"Rizzuto will lead a class on the craft of narrative non-fiction at the Muse and the Marketplace conference April 30-May 1, 2011. She will also lead a free craft class for members in our space.
"Head juror Grace Talusan described this wonderful book in these words: 
“In her memoir Hiroshima in the Morning, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto explores what happens when a bomb finds its target. Initially, she’s in search of stories about Japanese Americans during World War II and survivors of the atomic bomb. Her husband and sons, ages 3 and 5, stay in New York as Rizzuto travels to Hiroshima, despite criticism that she’s a “bad mother” for leaving her family for months to write. She’s steeped in stories about fate and survival, about how someone survived because of a seemingly mundane and arbitrary move. She is collecting material for her second novel, including interviews with survivors of the atomic bomb named Little Boy, when a new ground zero is created in New York. The world around her as well as the world she’s created with her husband will never be the same. Her family pressures her to come home, but Rizzuto won’t leave Japan or her work. She writes, “So there is that moment, then; the last breath of before: when life is about to change, utterly and forever, into something we have no way to conceive of. When the trajectory is already being drawn and there is no way to stop it.” Using diary entries, emails, telephone transcripts, and oral histories, Rizzuto pieces together a masterful collage about Hiroshima, 9/11, ambivalent motherhood, a doomed marriage, and a writer trying to understand what narrative means amidst so many kinds of bombs hitting so many beloved targets.”"

Thank you so much to Grub Street - to the jurors and staff and the whole community of writers.  I look forward to meeting you in Boston in April.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Please bear with me.  I know I disappeared after September 11th.  This has not been proof of post-traumatic stress, or mourning (though we should all mourn) the beginning of the Afghan war, but rather something magical.  A book is being born.  It is a gift from God knows where, and maybe I mean that literally!, but all I know for sure is that I have to show up for it. I cannot remember a race to the end of a book like this, this kind of excitement.  And we are almost there.

Come to the readings on the west coast, if you can, and I will tell you then if you ask.