Rebecca’s Reflections

On Meeting the Literary Icon, Uno Chiyo, Part 5

On Meeting the Literary Icon, Uno Chiyo, Part 5

Colors, Croissants, and Translation Choices I successfully defended my dissertation, Uno Chiyo: The Woman and the Writer, in December 1985. A few months later, I was on my way back to Tokyo, where I would spend the next five years at International Christian...

On Meeting the Literary Icon, Uno Chiyo, Part 4

On Meeting the Literary Icon, Uno Chiyo, Part 4

How the “Truth”-Seeking Scholar Became the Story Meeting celebrated author Uno Chiyo on June 21, 1984 (which incidentally or ironically was my fourth wedding anniversary) was a thrill. The thrills didn’t stop with that meeting, though. Four months later, I was in...

On Meeting the Literary Icon, Uno Chiyo, Part 3

On Meeting the Literary Icon, Uno Chiyo, Part 3

In the Slender Margin Between the Real and the Unreal Naoko and I stood outside Uno Chiyo’s apartment door. My stomach lurched. Desperate to shore up my flagging confidence, I listed all I had done to prepare for this interview. I had read Uno's works. Gone over my...

On Meeting the Literary Icon, Uno Chiyo, Part 2

On Meeting the Literary Icon, Uno Chiyo, Part 2

Part Two: Finding My Fit in a Free-Size Dress “Remember, you need to bring a friend,” Fujie-san said as we prepared to end our phone call. “A Japanese friend.” Ms. Fujie Atsuko was Uno Chiyo’s business secretary, literary agent, and tenacious gatekeeper. She set the...

On Meeting the Literary Icon, Uno Chiyo

On Meeting the Literary Icon, Uno Chiyo

Part One: Don’t Take No for an Answer! “You shouldn’t work on a living writer,” some advised me as I struggled to find the subject for my dissertation. A living writer, they argued, was still producing works, their oeuvre yet in progress. I guess they reasoned that...