Preview of DREAM OF THE WATER CHILDREN by Wendy Cheng
2Leaf Press: A Small Press with Big Ideas!
New York, New York
Wendy Cheng, Assistant Professor
School of Social Transformation Faculty
Arizona State University
A Black-Japanese Amerasian reflects on life in the present, with the traces of wars and their aftermaths.
In Dream of the Water Children, Fredrick Kakinami Cloyd delineates the ways imperialism and war are experienced across and between generations and leave lasting and often excruciating legacies in the mind, body, and relationships. The book is particularly good in detailing these costs as experienced by women and children, most vividly in cataloguing the life and emotions of Cloyd’s mother, and of Cloyd himself as a child and young man.
In incident after incident of military violence, sexual violence, social ostracism, intrafamilial cruelty, self-harm, and bullying, Cloyd shows how the social conditions created by war reverberate in our most intimate relationships. At the same time, Cloyd and his mother are never just victims: Cloyd’s spirited mother in particular defies stereotypes of Asian women and war brides as passive and silent. Throughout, Cloyd also traces moments of friendship and communal support among women and children of other mixed-race military families, as they navigated the conditions of multiple societies and cultural norms…
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