Thrilled to be a featured author at:
The 2016 Tokyo International Literary Festival | March 4 | Sophia University | Tokyo, Japan
As part of the event Four Stories at the 2016 Tokyo International Literary Festival, I’ll be reading from The Good Shufu along with three other acclaimed expat authors (TBA), for an evening of stories, discussion, and mingling.
Friday, March 4, 2016
6-8pm, with mingling and drinks with the authors to follow
Sophia University, Yotsuya Campus
7-1 Kioi-cho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 102-8554
More info coming soon!
This weekend, one of the most thoughtful explorations yet of The Good Shufu appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s Expat Blog by writer Debra Bruno. What I love most about Bruno’s interview is how it captured so many of the nuances and complications of both expat life and multicultural, multilingual love + marriage.
Author Tracy Slater, an American writer and academic who fell in love with a Japanese man, married him, and now lives with him and their daughter in Japan, describes her journey in a new book, “The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Life and Home on the Far Side of the World.” (Shufu means “housewife” in Japanese.)
The book is a warts-and-all account of how Ms. Slater, 48, who had barely traveled outside the U.S. when she first visited Japan to teach business English, fell in love with an Osaka salaryman, adjusted to a new culture, made the tough decision to give up her life in Boston, and spent years helping to care for an ailing father-in-law and trying to have a child in her 40s.
Ms. Slater chatted with WSJ Expat about the complications of being a western woman married to an Asian man, why she never really became fluent in Japanese, and how she struggled to keep her sense of self in Japan. An edited conversation follows.
See the full interview here. And thanks, WSJ!
Japan’s AERA Magazine says….well, actually, I have no idea what they say. But I’m thankful for their profile of The Good Shufu (I think). Bonus points for anyone who can translate enough to summarize the article and let us know what it says!
The shogun was particularly unhelpful with this one. His insight was that it says “something about love and your book.” Oy.
See the article online @ http://dot.asahi.com/aera/2015110400088.html
Last week, I had the pleasure of joining the award-winning poet Jessica Goodfellow at the Japan Writers Conference 2015 to discuss writing and publishing as an expat, comparing my experience publishing with a Big Five press versus hers bringing out books with various small and indie presses.
We talked about what we learned from our own recent book publication journeys, covering ways of making necessary industry contacts (including agents and publishers), connecting with potential readers, types of publishing models prevalent in different genres, and more.
One other topic we discussed: the importance of supporting other writers, especially as an expat. In the spirit of this camaraderie, please feel free to get in touch if you’re interested in our list of almost 100 resources and tips that we handed out about increasing your chances of getting noticed by presses big and small. There’s a private, protected form you can use to contact me here, and I’ll be happy to send them along.
Oh, and also in the spirit of expat camaraderie, here’s a picture of me, Jessica, and our lovely friend Lisa (both of whom make repeated cameos in The Good Shufu, by the way!) sharing some bubbles post-conference.
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 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!
So 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!
Big, 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.
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.
Well, the free giveaway that I was running myself of the advanced reading copies of The Good Shufu, is now over, but I recently discovered that Goodreads is sponsoring their own giveaway of 25 free copies!
Here’s the info (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23398967-the-good-shufu), and good luck if you sign up!
Kirkus Reviews has just released The Good Shufu‘s first official review, describing the book as “A heartfelt and moving tale, coupling insights into two remarkably different cultures with a love story that, as much as any true love story can, delivers a happy ending.”
Read the full review here. And thanks, Kirkus!