Release Date: October 5, 2021
About The Book:
When Christine, an idealistic young American teacher, meets and marries Hideki Yamada, an aspiring Japanese high school baseball coach, she believes that their love with be enough to sustain them as they deal with cultural differences. However, Hideki’s duties, and the team of fit, obedient boys whom he begins to think of as a surrogate family, take up more and more of his time, just as Christine is struggling to manage the needs of their multiply-disabled daughter and their sensitive son. Things come to a head when their son is the victim of bullies. Christine begins to think that she and her children would be safer – and happier – in her native country. On a trip back to the States, she reconnects with a dangerously attractive friend from high school who, after serving and becoming wounded in Afghanistan, seems to understand her like no one else.
Meanwhile, Daisuke Uchida, a slugger with pro potential who has returned to Japan after living abroad, may be able to help propel Hideki’s team to the national baseball tournament at Koshien. Not only would this be a dream come true for Hideki, but also it would secure the futures of his players, some of whom come from precarious homes. While Daisuke looks to Hideki for guidance, he is also distracted by Nana, a talented but troubled girl, whom he is trying to rescue from a life as a bar hostess (or worse). Hideki must ultimately choose between his team and his family.
The Baseball Widow explores issues of duty, disability, discrimination, violence, and forgiveness through a cross-cultural lens. Although flawed, these characters strive to advocate for fairness, goodness, and safety, while considering how their decisions have been shaped by their backgrounds.
About The Author:
American Suzanne Kamata is the author of two previous novels for adults, Losing Kei (Leapfrog Press, 2008), which was also published in Russian translation, and The Mermaids of Lake Michigan (Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing, 2017), winner of an IPPY award. She has also published three well-received anthologies including The Broken Bridge: Fiction from Expatriates in Literary Japan (Stone Bridge Press, 1992), Love You to Pieces: Creative Writers on Raising a Child with Special Needs (Beacon Press, 2008) and Call Me Okaasan: Adventures in Multicultural Mothering (Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing, 2009), and the multiple-award-winning travel memoir Squeaky Wheels: Travels with my Daughter by Train, Plane, Metro, Tuk-tuk and Wheelchair (Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing, 2019). Her short work has appeared in Real Simple, MTV.com, Brain, Child, The Japan Times, The Asahi Weekly, Wingspan (ANA’s inflight magazine), and many other publications. She has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian (UK), Tokyo Weekender and others about being the mother of biracial children and/or a disabled child in Japan. She earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and currently lives in Japan with her Japanese husband.
Twitter – @shikokusue
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