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Hisaye Yamamoto Books: A Collection Of Stories

Hisaye Yamamoto books is a collection of stories titled Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories. Read Seventeen Syllables summary.



Hisaye Yamamoto Books: A Collection Of Stories






Hisaye Yamamoto books received wide acclaim, as a collection of text featuring interesting stories that fulfils the true portrayal of the emotionally constricted lives of Issei women. The precision that is inherent in Hisaye Yamamoto books have led critics to compare her works to that of Katherine Mansfield, Flannery O'Connor, and Grace Paley.

 Notable for having her stories told with exquisite choice of words that delivers with inciting humour, Yamamoto scholar King-Kok Cheung described her stories as thus,

 "Yamamoto's stories exemplify precision and restraint". Stated further, that Hisaye Yamamoto's "wide range of subject matter, from vignettes of sexual harassment in 'The High-Heeled Shoes'...to an Issei odyssey that spans Japanese American history in 'Las Vegas Charley"


In essence, Hisaye Yamamoto books mostly capture the trivial issues and experiences of Japanese immigrant mostly during the Second World War, the disconnection between first and second-generation immigrants. Similarly, Hisaye Yamamoto books were given due recognition as being strong enough to permeates the difficult role of women in society.



The above led her to be conferred with National Renown after World War 2, being among the first Japanese American writer to win such.


Hisaye Yamamoto
Hisaye Yamamoto


Books By Hisaye Yamamoto

Hisaye Yamamoto books are mostly known to be a collection of short stories, with one in particular, The Seventeen Syllables" standing out as that of reference to Hisaye Yamamoto books. Hence, for proper denotation of her works, Hisaye Yamamoto's short stories will be mentioned chronologically below with short synopsis about what each story in Hisaye Yamamoto books entails.


Hisaye Yamamoto collection of short stories is titled "Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories" . This collection of short stories comprises some of Hisaye Yamamoto's most-anthologized works, such as "Yoneko's Earthquake," "The Legend of Miss Sasagawara," "The Brown House," and "Seventeen Syllables."


The original version of Hisaye Yamamoto seventeen syllables and other stories was pushed in 1988 by Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press. Subsequently, it was revised two times, and these times with four additional stories by Hisaye Yamamoto. They include: "Death Rides the Rails to Poston," "Eucalyptus," "A Fire in Fontana," and "Florentine Gardens. 


The short stories contained in "Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories", a book by Hisaye Yamamoto are:

  1. The High-Heeled Shoes: A Memoir
  2. Seventeen Syllables
  3. The Legend of Miss Sasagawara
  4. Wilshire Bus 
  5. The Brown House
  6. Yoneko's Earthquake
  7. Morning Rain
  8. Epithalamium
  9. Las Vegas Charley
  10. Life Among the Oil Fields, A Memoir
  11. The Eskimo Connection
  12. My Father Can Beat Muhammad Ali
  13. The Underground Lady
  14. A Day In Little Tokyo
  15. Death Rides the Rails to Poston
  16. Eucalyptus
  17.  Fire in Fontana
  18.  Florentine Gardens. 



The High-Heeled Shoes: A Memoir (1948) 

This story by Hisaye Yamamoto is written in first person narrative and deals primarily with the treatment of women in the society— instances of sexual harassment, threats of rape that Hisaye Yamamoto and her friends have experienced during their lives as women.

Seventeen Syllables (1949)

Hisaye Yamamoto's Seventeen Syllables is her most popular short story, and the title of her collection. Seventeen Syllables is a story that tracks the lives of a Japan immigrant mother or Iseei and her Neisei daughter. The mother is passionate about the Japanese poetry, haiku which usually contains Seventeen syllables. On the contrary, her daughter doesn't understand this. 




The short story permeates through interesting subjects matter such as, the recognition of Japanese women as second class citizens and the divide generated through ethnicity. These were both highlighted by the daughter's hideous romance with a Mexican boy, the mother winning a poetry contest and the father's resentment of her wife's success.

The Legend of Miss Sasagawara (1950)

The story setting is a Japanese relocation camp during the time when Japanese people were mistrusted in America. The story was told by young Japanese American girl, about her encounter with Miss Sasagarawa, an inmate in the camp who wasreputed for acting insane. Which indeed, she wasn't. Her purposely acting was discovered after her poem reveals her sense of being repressed by her Buddhist father.

This, like the Hisaye Yamamoto seventeen syllables, also disclosed the patriarchal society. 

 Wilshire Bus (1950)

In Wilshire Bus, Hisaye Yamamoto was able to portray the issues of strain relationship between divided cultures and ethnic population. The story was narrated by a young American Japanese who witnessed the harassment of a Chinese couple by an American on a bus. In reaction, she felt a sense of self satisfaction which also made her to question her resentment. She then resolves that the American is not the only one who has resentment towards another race or ethnic group. 


The Brown House (1951)

The Brown House tells the story of a wife who becomes the enabler of her husband's gambling habit. This however, incessantly resulted to the family's financial trouble.

Yoneko's Earthquake (1951)

This short story is described as the most complex in the collection of stories by Hisaye Yamamoto. The story related two parallel plot lines that is observed by Yoneko, a Nisei girl. The stories explores the themes of the complex relationship between two ethnic groups and patriarchal situations already made evident in the foregoing stories by Hisaye Yamamoto.


In the story, Yoneko has a crush on a man after her arrival at a Filipino farm land. Her mother, who also has interest, eventually had an affair with the man. 


Morning Rain (1952)

The story is about a Nisei daughter of an Issei Father, who reveals to the father about her marriage to an American. During to the course of the conversation, the daughter feels that her father has a difficulty hearing her. The story ends with a revelation from the father that he cannot hear her because he has becomes deaf. 

However, this is to symbolically expose the disconnection created by the ethnicity between Issei and Nisei.

Epithalamium (1960)

Parading the themes of hope and the disappointment in romantic inter-ethnic relationship, Epithalamium is a about a Japanese American bride who reminisces about her relationship with her husband who is a Italian American alcoholic.

The story line was captures by the title, Epithalamium; a poetic form written in honor of a bride.

Las Vegas Charley (1961)

The story is an account of an Issei man who immigrated to America before World War 2, got married and started a family in the country. But at the advent of the war, he was interned in a camp. After the war, he settled in Las Vegas as a dishwasher, but despite his several attempts to provide a better living circumstances for himself, he was unable to. Instead, he remained in the same pitiable condition.
 

Life Among the Oil Fields, A Memoir (1979)

This is a non-fictional account by Yamamoto following the hit and run accident of her brother, caused by a Caucasian couple who refused to take responsibility nor asked about Jim's condition. Hisaye Yamamoto in the story succintly describes her life on a farm among the oil fields of Southern California.

The Eskimo Connection (1983) 

This story depicts the unusual yet interesting relationship that could exist among people of different ethnic groups. The story is a bout a Japanese American writer who had a friendship with an Eskimo prison inmate through written correspondence.

Despite their difference, they were able to portray the possibility of affectionate relationship among groups with different backgrounds.

My Father Can Beat Muhammad Ali (1986)

An Issei father tries to impress on his American sport-loving sons an interest in Japanese sports. The story reflects the generational gap between traditional-minded Japanese parents and their Americanized children who believes that their parents are still holding unto the past.

Underground Lady (1986)

This is about the encounter between a Japanese-American woman and a white woman, who inadvertently reveal their separate racial prejudices. The story reveals a negative side to inter-ethnic interaction, as a counterpoint to "The Eskimo Connection," among others.


A Day in Little Tokyo (1986)

 This is a story about a young Nisei girl who hesitatingly accompanies her father and brother to a sumo match, but is left in Little Tokyo, where she observes the comings and goings of the inhabitants. The story explores the generational gap and difference between Issei parents and Nisei children.


In Conclusion, it is evident from the above short synopses of the short stories contain in Hisaye Yamamoto books that she was particular about the ethnic differences and the relationship that was prevalent during and in the post world war 2. Hence, her recognition as a Literature legend that has been able to capture the minds and trivial issues of the time.





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Pawners Paper: Hisaye Yamamoto Books: A Collection Of Stories
Hisaye Yamamoto Books: A Collection Of Stories
Hisaye Yamamoto books is a collection of stories titled Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories. Read Seventeen Syllables summary.
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