"The many avenues of Hiroshima in the Morning--explorations of history, of culture, of family, of self--ebb and flow to deliver a stunning portrait of survival. Rizzuto’s writing is lyrical and moving, transcendent and beautiful, yet it constructs a robust narrative that does not succumb to the gravity of the world events that inform it"
— Rigoberto Gonzalez, NBCC Finalist Nomination
"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.”
— Grace Talusan, Grub Street National Book Award Winner
"Rizzuto has the insight and storytelling skill to weave her themes together into a powerful and illuminating whole."
— MS Magazine
“Throughout the narrative of her time in Japan, Rizzuto swirls in recurring motifs such as dreams, memories and hallucinations of her mother, who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, and her growing friendships in Hiroshima. The book ultimately is about motherhood and family relationships, and the personal, fictionalized nature of memories…The way she lays out her emotional journey openly and unashamedly and writes transparently about her personal struggles in “Hiroshima in the Morning” is downright heroic.”
— Gil Asakawa, www.nikkeiview.com (with interview)
“Rizzuto’s prose is breathtaking, poetic, and insightful. I loved this book on so many levels, but especially for its wisdom. What Rizzuto does in Hiroshima in the Morning is to place the individual within the context of the community, to show that we are all connected through our stories and experiences, and that self-discovery is to be found in our relationships with others as well as through our unique view of the world. Hiroshima in the Morning is a book which I highly recommend. Women, especially, will be drawn to Rizzuto’s story. This is a story which transcends the average memoir, a story which is both personal and universal.”
— Caribousmom. Chosen as #3 of the Best Books of 2010
“In this meta-biography, Rizzuto intersperses short narratives from these interviews with her own experience, as she becomes more at home in Japan and with herself. As one identity gathers substance, another falters. Rizzuto's marriage begins to unravel, and she is wordless in the face of her husband's accusation that she has changed. The space between silence and story, the slippery quality of memory, and how one person might attempt to retrieve and connect to history are the tropes that create the book's infrastructure…Hiroshima in the Morning is a deeply affecting record of the author's exploration of story and memory, and an intriguing addition to existing 9/11-related books.”
—J. G. Stinson, Foreword Reviews
“Hiroshima In The Morning is a fascinating book, about far more than Hiroshima. It is about wives and husbands, children and mothers, peace and power, and surviving with fear and destruction never quite enough far away.”
"This book is an important contribution to the growing understanding that we are all part of history, and we all make history. A moving account of a contemporary voyage, which is also a voyage back in time, reckoning with and bearing witness to one of the great tragedies of the last century."
"If remembering lies at the heart of all memoir, the best memoir goes far deeper—asking questions about the propulsive nature of time, the consequences of forgetting, and the treacherous liberations of solitude. Hiroshima in the Morning is a memoir of the most sophisticated kind—a lyric, a quest, a universal poem."
“Rahna Reiko Rizzuto's new book is both intimate and global, lyrical and clear-eyed, a compelling personal narrative and an important social document. Here past and present, Hiroshima and 9/11, interweave, echo and re-echo to tell a story of unendurable loss and tragedy but also of tenacity, survival and rebirth.”
“In writing as beautifully gestural and balanced as Japanese brush painting, with a clarity of perception and humility that is rare in a book so intimate, Hiroshima in the Morning is a brave, compassionate, and heart-wrenching memoir of one woman’s quest to redeem the past while learning to live fully in the present.”
"This searing and redemptive memoir is an explosive account of motherhood reconstructed. Pulling from the wreckage of two wars, as well as the loss of her own mother to Alzheimer’s, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto recasts her identity as a mother and a daughter, and finds a truer connection to her family."