Dream of the Water Children

Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd

Dream of the Water Children

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd

Distributed for 2Leaf Press

Edited by Karen Chau and with an Introduction by Gerald Horne and a Foreword by Velina Hasu Houston
 
476 pages | 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2019
Paper $24.99 ISBN: 9781940939285 Published March 2019
Born to an African American father and Japanese mother, Frederick D. Kakinami Cloyd, the narrator of Dream of the Water Children, finds himself not only to be a marginalized person by virtue of his heritage, but often a cultural drifter, as well. Indeed, both his family and his society treat him as if he doesn’t entirely belong to any world. Tautly written in spare, clear poetic prose, this memoir explores the specific contours of Japanese and African American cultures, as well as the broader experience of biracial and multicultural identity. To tell his story, Cloyd incorporates photographs and Japanese writing, history, and memory to convey both rich personal experience and significant historical detail. Bringing together vivid memories with a perceptive cultural eye, Dream of the Water Children brings readers closer to a biracial experience, opening up our understanding of the cultural richness and social challenges people from diverse backgrounds face.
Review Quotes
Grace M. Cho, author of Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, Secrecy and the Forgotten War
Dream of the Water Children is a meditation on the condition of a Black Japanese diaspora born of war and U.S. imperialism as much as it is a personal story of love, loss and spiritual redemption. Written in multiple voices, Cloyd lets his ghosts speak.”
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, historian and writer
“Fredrick Douglas Kakinami Cloyd has written a profoundly moving and thought-provoking book. . . a master story-teller who honors and respects memory.”
Leonard Rifas, Ph.D, University of Washington
“Can be read as a ghost story, a meditation on how to disassemble the heartbreak machines; a catalog of copious tears and small comforts. This is a challenging example of personal bravery and filial love.”
Patricia Mushim Ikeda, Buddhist teacher / activist
“This is a mature book that moves fluidly, as the mind moves, untroubled by traditional distinctions between writing considered to be academic vs. creative, memoir vs. personal essay, sure-footed in unexpected ways.”
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