The Men in My Country

The Men in My Country

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In the early 1990s, at the watershed age of thirty, Marilyn Abildskov decided she needed to start over. She accepted an offer to move from Utah to Matsumoto, Japan, to teach English to junior high school students. ""All I knew is that I had to get away and when I stared at my name on the Japanese contract, the squiggles of katakana, my name typed in English sturdily beneath, I liked how it looked. As if it - as if I - were translated, transformed, emerging now as someone new."" The Men in My Country is the story of an American woman living and loving in Japan. Satisfied at first to observe her exotic surroundings, the woman falls in love with the place, with the light, with the curve of a river, with the smell of bonfires during obon, with blue and white porcelain dishes, with pencil boxes, and with small origami birds. Later, struggling for a deeper connection - ""I wanted the country under my skin"" - Abildskov meets the three men who will be part of her transformation and the one man with whom she will fall deeply in love. A travel memoir offering an artful depiction of a very real place, The Men in My Country also covers the terrain of a complex emotional journey, tracing a geography of the heart, showing how we move to be moved, how in losing ourselves in a foreign place we can become dangerously - and gloriously - undone.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 149.9 x 241.3 x 17.8mm | 362.88g
  • Iowa, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0877459045
  • 9780877459040

Review quote

"In this exquisite travel memoir, Marilyn Abildskov unpacks her bags and allows herself to be transformed by all she tastes and touches in Japan: the persimmons, pencil boxes, origami birds, and men-three in particular. The result is an intimate, sensual portrait of a woman and a place. I was enthralled and transported from start to finish." - Natalia Rachael Singer, author of Scraping By in the Big Eighties"
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About Marilyn Abildskov

Marilyn Abildskov's stories, essays, and poems have appeared in such magazines as Black Warrior Review, Fourth Genre, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Quarterly West. She has an MFA from the University of Iowa, lives in Berkeley, California, and teaches at Saint Mary's College in Moraga.
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Rating details

31 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 35% (11)
4 42% (13)
3 10% (3)
2 13% (4)
1 0% (0)
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