cover of book
 

Ganbatte
by Sarah Kortemeier
University of Wisconsin Press, 2019
Paper: 978-0-299-32514-5
Library of Congress Classification PS3611.O7449G36 2019
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Ganbatte is a Japanese word that means "do your best." In this vivid debut collection, Sarah Kortemeier wrestles with striving to meet this goal. Shifting between continents, languages, and remembered violences, she explores what it means to experience history as a tourist. She also asks how the grandchildren of those who fought in World War II move forward with the burdens of the past. Refusing to offer easy answers, Ganbatte reveals life overseas in flashes and jagged bursts of memory, minute collages observing moments of humor, loneliness, friendship, and grief from the mundane (how to distinguish parsley from cilantro in a Japanese grocery store) to the existentially overwhelming (how do we, as a species, cope with global trauma?). These formally diverse poems advocate for openness and curiosity as habits of mind when confronting personal and collective struggle.

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