The Men in My Country

The Men in My Country

3.96 (30 ratings by Goodreads)
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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."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 166 pages
  • 157.48 x 233.68 x 12.7mm | 272.15g
  • University of Iowa Press
  • United States
  • English
  • 1587294494
  • 9781587294495

Review quote

Marilyn Abildskov is a writer of sheer beauty and rare atmosphere. Each word feels hand-carved from the broken shards of her own life. "The Men in My Country" is a pathway into longing for ordinary love, for ordinary joy. We are brought into soulful dialogue regarding the nature of wanting versus the nature of needing. Japan becomes a rich landscape of love and we accept this exquisite book as the gift of experience. When T. S. Eliot speaks of transient beauty born out of sorrow, he was foreshadowing the writing of Marilyn Abildskov. Terry Tempest Williams, author of "Refuge," "Leap," and "Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert""show more

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."show more

Rating details

30 ratings
3.96 out of 5 stars
5 33% (10)
4 43% (13)
3 10% (3)
2 13% (4)
1 0% (0)
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