Boston Globe Reviews The Good Shufu!

It’s a thrill to see my hometown paper review my book about finding new homes without losing the old, noting its “heartbreaking, touching, and revelatory” scenes. They write, in part,

2015-07-19 18:52:07 +00001Tracy Slater’s memoir kicks off with this winning paragraph: “I met him in Kobe, Japan, in May 2004. Three weeks later, he told me he loved me. At least I thought that’s what he said.”

The author, known in the Boston area for creating the rollicking reading series Four Stories, traces her bicontinental romance as it unfolds over a decade, with flashbacks to her chaotic childhood in an upper-class Boston family. In this combination love story and travelogue, Slater exemplifies the adage: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

See the full review here. And thanks, Boston Globe!

Fill Your Beach Bag or City Tote with 3 Expat Stories

thegoodshufu:

So thrilled to start my launch week off with this triple giveaway!

Originally posted on Melibelle in Tokyo:

Three Expat Women. Three international love stories. One book giveaway.
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Summer is time to let loose in flip-flops and cut-off shorts, reading the books that will mark time.

Were you that student who backpacked through Thailand, or summered in The Cape?

Maybe you doubled-up on college courses and only daydreamed of such travel, instead, watching Brokedown Palace for the fifty-sixth time, while combing through Seventeen or Vogue, NatGeo, or Ms.

Maybe you still crave the expanse of wild summer.

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Here is your chance to dig into 3 fabulous expat stories within these gorgeous memoirs:

Maybe you’ll win all three! Maybe you’ll buy them for your Kindle. Take them on the plane or read, beach side, or on lunch break, adjacent to spicy noodles.
Did you know–memoir doesn’t only belong to the women who stick around long enough to grow five necks or have lived twelve decades, through five wars, across all continents, and the…

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Boston Globe features The Good Shufu in their “Story Behind the Book” column

Thanks, Boston Globe, for this piece!

Tracy Slater and the journey least expected

Before she met her husband, Tracy Slater was “fiercely independent,” she says, an academic teaching literature and gender studies at Boston University’s College Behind Bars program. Then a Japanese businessman getting an executive MBA in Boston entered her life, she said, “and I just fell madly in love with him.”

When her future husband had to return to Osaka to care for his father in the wake of his mother’s sudden death, Slater found herself following him there. They married, and she became, suddenly, a shufu. The word means “housewife” in Japanese, but it doesn’t share the connotations most Americans bring to the word here. “It’s much more common in Japan,” Slater said, “that when a woman marries she quits her job, even if she doesn’t have kids.”

In “The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World,” Slater writes of her cultural dislocation in this new country and new role, but also of the joy it brought her.

“I worked really hard to plan this kind of life I thought would be my perfect life, and it got completely upended when I fell in love with this person,” she said. She added, “The most rewarding thing is realizing I feel more grounded, more in the right place, than I ever have in my life. The journey that I least expected took me to exactly the right place.”

One place it took her was to motherhood, as parent to a half-Japanese daughter. “She is part of my body,” Slater said, “and yet she is also an integral part of a culture that will, always and forever, see me as a foreigner.” As for her role as shufu, she said, “The title is ironic. I’m not a good shufu. I’m the worst housekeeper in the world.”

Slater will read Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Newtonville Books.

See full piece online

Panic, Book Launches, & Being a Japanese-Jewish Housewife

A few new pieces came out recently in preparation for the book launch, which is now less than 2 weeks away. (Yikes.)

The first is from SheWrites, titled “The Silly Little Things I’m Panicking About” before the book launch. The second is a piece on the website Kveller, titled “Becoming a Japanese Housewife Made Me a More Committed Jew.”

Now that I see the two pieces and their titles side by side, it occurs to me: Perhaps I should actually be panicking less about the launch and more about how in the world I became a Japanese Jewish Housewife?

The Hardcover Hits Tokyo!

ShufuHardcoverJune2015The book exists in hardcover! Here it is on my windowsill at our house in the Tokyo suburbs. I may like my makeup sparkly & my patent leather shiny, but I’m loving the special matte paper Putnam Books has chosen. Thanks so much, Putnam!

PS. It’s not in bookstores in the US (or any other countries) yet until June 30, but it is being offered for pre-order at all of these sellers–and at a discount at many of them, until the book is actually released to the public!

We Have Winners!

Many congratulations to Lynn Jarrett of central Oklahoma in the US, and to Annie Ozawa of Yokohama, Japan: our two winners of the contest for signed, advanced reading copies of The Good Shufu! Copies will be on the way to both of you soon!

And many thanks to all 307 people who signed up to enter the blind drawing! I’m so touched by your interest in reading the book.

PS. Special thanks to Susan Blumberg-Kason (author of the book Good Chinese Wife) who withdrew from the drawing to increase other entrants’ chances, after she won a free copy of Shufu in the Goodreads giveaway contest.

B&N Officially Announces: Good Shufu is a Summer ’15 Discover Great New Writers Selection

Discover_Barnes_Noble_logo_050515So incredibly touched and honored by Barnes & Noble and their official announcement, through the publishing industry newsletter Shelf Awareness, of The Good Shufu as a Summer 2015 Discover Great New Writers Selection. They write,

The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World by Tracy Slater (Putnam, June 30). “Falling in love can be dizzying, dazzling, and disorienting all at once, but Tracy Slater took things one step farther when she fell in love with a Japanese businessman–whose English was on par with her Japanese–and upended her life as an academic in Boston to become a housewife in Osaka, Japan. Our readers are in love with this delightful, deft memoir about new beginnings and making one’s home.”

I’m also honored to share this distinction with the 11 other books and authors chosen, all listed here!

Tokyo Families Magazine Profiles The Good Shufu

11-300x336Big, big thanks to Tokyo Families Magazine for their profile of the The Good Shufu and for their interview with me about being in a cross-cultural, multilingual, and bi-continental marriage.

They write,

Even with a great divide among religions and races across the world, love works in wonderful ways. American freelance writer Tracy Slater, found love in Japan with a Japanese husband.

But their story is statistically rare.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, interracial marriages make up about 1 in 30 marriages. Of marriages involving Japanese men, only a paltry 1% is with an American wife.

In an interview with Tracy about The Good Shufu (The Good Wife), a book she penned for release next month, she shares some of her personal experiences and views about being in a kokusai kekkon (international marriage).

How did you and your husband cross paths?  What would you say the attraction was?

He did an executive MBA at the university in Boston where I taught writing, so that’s why we met. And the attraction, at least for me, was pretty immediate. On his end, he did try to avoid me a little at first, but he now claims that’s because he was scared I was going to make him speak English. So guess how that turned out. I write much more about all of this in the first few chapters of the book, so in the interest of not making my editor mad, I won’t divulge the whole story here! (laughter)

Read the full interview here.