Education About Asia: Online Archives

Polite Lies: On Being a Woman Caught Between Cultures

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BY KYOKO MORI

NEW YORK: FAWCETT BOOKS, 1999

258 PAGES. PAPERBACK: ISBN 0-449-00428-7

Reviewed by Howard Giskin

Kyoko Mori grew up in Japan, moved to the United States to finish college, earned a graduate degree, and has taught creative writing at a number of universities. She is the author of several novels focusing on the experiences of young Japanese women including Shizuko’s Daughter, One Bird, The Dream of Water: A Memoir, as well as the recent Stone Field, True Arrow: A Novel, about a Japanese woman living in America who embarks on a journey of self-discovery upon hearing of the death of her father, whom she hasn’t seen in years. Mori’s second memoir, Polite Lies, is a perceptive, well-written firsthand look at what it means to feel like an alien in both one’s native culture and the society one has adopted as one’s own.