In your heart there will always be a small ache reminding you that a place waits for your return. The dancers pause. The singers call. The fireflies await.
Secret desires, unfulfilled longing, and irrepressible humor flow through the stories of Wakako Yamauchi, writings that depict the lives of Nisei, second-generation Japanese Americans. Through the medium of Yamauchi’s storytelling, readers enter the world of desert farmers, factory workers, gamblers, housewives, con artists, and dreamers. Elegantly simple in words and complex in resonance, her stories reveal hidden strength, resilience, and the persistence of hope.
Intersections: Asian and Pacific American Transcultural Studies
"Wakako Yamauchi is one of the foremothers of Asian American writing. Her prose is sharp, her voice strong, her dialogue true. Each story in Rosebud is a little gem that the reader turns slowly, sending glints of light off in unexpected directions. It is not often we get to hear the voice of an older Asian American woman in fiction, and that voice is richly present here in stories that celebrate change, memory, relationships, things that are lost . . . and kept." —Paul Spickard, University of California, Santa Barbara
Author: Yamauchi, Wakako; Editor: Howan, Lillian;Wakako Yamauchi
was born in 1924 in the desert farmlands of the California Imperial Valley. In 1942, the seventeen-year-old Yamauchi and her family were interned with thousands of other Japanese Americans in Poston Relocation Center in the Arizona desert. She worked as an artist for the camp newspaper, the Poston Chronicle,
and there began her lifelong friendship with the writer Hisaye Yamamoto. Following the war, Yamauchi began writing fiction. Her short story "And the Soul Shall Dance" was published in the groundbreaking Asian American anthology Aiiieeeee!
(1974) and later adapted into an award-winning play, beginning Yamauchi’s long career as an acclaimed playwright. Her first collection, Songs My Mother Taught Me: Stories, Plays, and Memoir,
was published in 1994. Yamauchi wrote the stories collected in Rosebud
in her later years, focusing on the clarity of her language and "telling the story, getting as close to the truth as I can."