cover image Out of the Frying Pan: Reflections of a Japanese American

Out of the Frying Pan: Reflections of a Japanese American

Bill Hosokawa. University Press of Colorado, $32.5 (184pp) ISBN 978-0-87081-500-3

""Being an American of Japanese ancestry is somewhat different from being an American of English, German, Italian or Scandinavian descent,"" writes Hosokawa. Indeed, this difference is what his book ""is all about."" One of his major concerns is that Americans hardly know, or remember, FDR's 1942 executive order stripping Japanese-Americans of their constitutional rights and incarcerating them in detention camps. The first half of the book is autobiographical: Hosokawa writes of growing up in Seattle, the jarring disruption of being forced to leave home for an internment camp and his subsequent ""comeback"" from the camps to become a successful reporter and editor at the Denver Post (he is now retired). In a rather abrupt change of direction, the second half is a collection of columns, written since 1978 for the Pacific Citizen. (Hosokawa published Thirty-Five Years in the Frying Pan, his first collection of columns, in 1978.) Hosokawa writes in an openhearted, down-to-earth fashion, and his columns include both further explorations of what it means to be Japanese-American and commentaries on watershed moments of parenthood and family life. Neither a definitive portrait of life as a Japanese-American nor a searchingly personal memoir, Hosokawa's book offers glimpses, from various angles and without bitterness, of an American life touched by both injustice and fulfillment. (Dec.)