Ishmael Reed Publishing Co. offers “The New And Selected Yuri – Writing From Peeling Till Now,” by Yuri Kageyama, now at book stores and electronic readers.
Prize-winning American essayist, novelist and poet Ishmael Reed has compiled into a new book the works of a Japanese woman who has chosen English as her language of expression to explore the themes of racism, sexuality, identity and family. Yuri Kageyama’s poetry and fiction underline her bicultural Japanese and American sensibilities for a challenging view of the everyday that debunks cultural stereotypes and lambastes male domination.
“They’ve called Yuri ‘cute’ often during her life. She’s cute all right. Like a tornado is cute. Like a hurricane is cute. This Yuricane,” Reed writes in his introduction. “Her poems critique Japanese as well as American society. The Chikan. The arrogance of the Gaijin, who, even when guests in a country, insist that everybody be like them. Some are erotic. You might find allusions to Richard Wright, Michelangelo, John Coltrane. Music is not only entertainment but like something that one injects, something that invades the nervous system.”
Reed, who has taught at the University of California, Berkeley for 35 years, discovered Kageyama, picking her poem for iconic literary magazine “Y’Bird,” and publishing her first book of poems, “Peeling,” while she was a student at Berkeley. The new book (2011: Ishmael Reed Publishing Co.) ranges in theme from a tongue-in-cheek adoration of the Caucasian male and a suicide in a “salaryman” home to exhilarating praise for working mothers and a delightful depiction of the Tokyo music scene.
Kageyama has been published in “Pow-Wow: Charting the Fault Lines in the American Experience _ Short Fiction from Then to Now,” “Phati’tude” “Stories We Hold Secret,” “Greenfield Review,” “Mango,” “On a Bed of Rice,” “Konch,” “Beyond Rice,” and other literary magazines and anthologies. She has read with Shuntaro Tanikawa, Eric Kamau Gravatt, Winchester Nii Tete, Seamus Heaney and other artists. She lives in Tokyo and reads with her band The Yuricane. Director Yoshiaki Tago documented her readings in his 2010 film “Talking Taiko.” She is a magna cum laude graduate of Cornell University, and has an M.A. from UC Berkeley.