White Elephant (Paperback)

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White Elephant By Mako Idemitsu, Juliet Winters Carpenter (Translator) Cover Image
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With a deeply-imbedded indebtedness to their father Morimasa Morimoto, a self-made man in post-war Japan, two sisters struggle to uphold a family legacy. Sakiko moves to the fantastically free United States. Fragile and unsure in 1960s San Francisco, she clings to her brazen artist husband for stability. Hiroko, headstrong and irreverent, uses her father's money to move to New York, promising to become a famous artist. Intolerant of weakness in others, she crumbles in the face of her own shortcomings.

From catty carpooling moms to manipulative stoners, abortions to adultery, White Elephant is a vivid book from a seasoned artist turned writer. Mako Idemitsu, daughter of Rockefeller-esque petroleum executive Sazo Idemitsu, reconfigures her own family discord to reflect on the binds of being female in this gorgeous English translation.

Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Mako Idemitsu immigrated to the United States in 1963 where she met and married abstract expressionist painter Sam Francis. Disillusioned with housewife life she picked up an 8mm camera and became a pioneer in experimental video and the feminist art movement of the 1970s. Internationally acclaimed, her work has been featured in major museums worldwide and is included in the MOMA's permanent collection. This is her debut novel.

Award-winning translator Juliet Winters Carpenter has rendered the works of Abe Kobo, Fumiko Enchi, and Minae Mizumura. Within the year she will be the first person to have won the prestigious Japan-US Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature twice.


About the Author


Mako Idemitsu Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, in an elite and wealthy family, author Mako Idemitsu went to the United States in 1962 where she met and married abstract expressionist painter Sam Francis. While raising two children in California she became disillusioned with the roles of wife and mother and picked up an 8mm camera. As part of a feminist consciousness-raising group she began to make experimental films that explored women's issues and Japanese cultural influences. Her artistic work is critically acclaimed and featured in museums across the world. Juliet Winters Carpenter Translator Juliet Winters Carpenter studied Japanese literature at the University of Michigan and translation at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Tokyo. Her past translations include Secret Rendezvous by Abe Kobo, Masks by Fumiko Enchi, and the works of Minae Mizumura. In 2015, she became the first person to win the prestigious Japan-US Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature twice.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781634059589
ISBN-10: 1634059581
Publisher: Chin Music
Publication Date: November 29th, 2016
Pages: 224
Language: English