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Swimming in the American
A Memoir and Selected Writings
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Swimming in the American
A Memoir and Selected Writings

By Hiroshi Kashiwagi
2005, 244 pages, Paperback.

Book Description from the Preface
Comments from Back Cover
About the Author

An AACP Interview With Hiroshi Kashiwagi

SF Chronicle Article on Hiroshi Kashiwagi

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Book Description from the Preface

This book is about my life, from my birth to the present. The format is essentially chronological covering my childhood years of the twenties, the Great Depression years of the thirties, the World War II years of the forties, and the postwar years to the present. However, it is not a straight narrative because it is a collection of vignettes that highlight certain events and moments of my life. These pieces were originally written at different points in my life, covering timely events or recollecting events of the past. So the chronology is sometimes blurred, the time jumping back and forth like flashbacks within a flashback. Through this "cinematic" method I hope to achieve a kind of impressionistic whole of my life story. Included also are poems which add a different perspective. Life wasn't always grim; there was some levity that leavened the days.
- Hiroshi Kashiwagi

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Comments from Back Cover

"Japanese American literature just got a little deeper with the publication of Hiroshi Kashiwagi's Swimming in the American ... Kashiwagi has written a memoir of a No-No Boy ... I hope that Japanese America deserves the good writing, the quality of verifiable fact, and the daring of AACP's publisinh venture."
- Frank Chin, author & playwright, Born in the USA, Chicken Coop Chinaman, and Donald Duk

"Hiroshi Kashiwagi's Swimming in the American is quite a bit more than its modest subtitle would suggest... The main narrative tells of [...] the shameful internment of Japanese Americans; of the development and distillation of a Japanese-American sensibility in the man and the writer; and ultimately the journey of the human soul.... [But it is] as much about Mr. Kashiwagi's lifelong passion: reading, writing, and acting. This is a long and diverse life, well lived, well reflected upon, and above all, well and enthrallingly told."
- John Philbrook, Librarian, San Francisco Public Library

"This interesting mixture of literary genres is a reflection of a life in America, the high and low, the joys and pains, but a clear-eyed spirit that never gave up... [Kashiwagi's] writings illustrate the meaning and significance of cultural pluralism in America. I recommend it as a genuine "live in" account of a Japanese American."
- James Hirabayashi, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University and Senior Program Advisor, Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles

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Background on the Hiroshi Kashiwagi

Hiroshi Kashiwagi has had a remarkable life. He has been a librarian, an actor, a playwright, and writer. He lives with his wife Sadako in Northern California.

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