Facing the Wave: A Journey in the Wake of the Tsunami 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 51 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-0307907318
ISBN-10: 0307907317
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gifted, adventurous, and extolled nature writer Ehrlich has abiding connections to Japan, so she returned there soon after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. With the valiant assistance of her guides and interpreters, especially photographer Yajima Masumi, she explored the devastated Tohoku coast and listened to survivors’ stories as they endured strong daily aftershocks. Fisherman Kikuchi-san describes being swept into a 30-foot tsunami wave of water “black with diesel and gas, sewage, dirt, and blood” and dense with smashed houses, boats, cars, and bodies. Others remember running for their lives as the water surged toward them and seeing loved ones drown as entire towns were erased. Having farmed in the Sendai region for centuries, Masumi’s family struggles to replant after the tsunami only to lose it all again in a brutal typhoon. Many of the people Ehrlich meets, including Ito Tsuyako, a lovely 84-year-old geisha, are determined to adapt, but others have no hope. And the catastrophe is ongoing, as radiation from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant contaminates land and sea. Ehrlich’s invaluable chronicle subtly raises questions about coastal disasters, global warming, and nuclear power as the beauty and precision of her prose and her profound and knowledgeable insights into nature’s might and matters spiritual and cultural evoke a deep state of awe and sympathy. --Donna Seaman

Review

**Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)**
**Kansas City Star Best Books of the Year (2013)**

“Ehrlich offers always startling work that has deservedly won her a PEN New England’s Henry David Thoreau Prize for excellence in nature writing…expect first-rate observation offered with intimate insight.” –Library Journal

“Lyrical, meandering dispatches and eyewitness accounts from the devastation of the 2011 tsunami in Japan…Ehrlich renders the enormity of loss in a fashion comprehensible to her American readers…eloquent.” –Kirkus  

“Gifted, adventurous, and extolled nature writer Ehrlich has abiding connections to Japan, so she returned there soon after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami…Ehrlich’s invaluable chronicle subtly raises questions about coastal disasters, global warming, and nuclear power as the beauty and precision of her prose and her profound and knowledgeable insights into nature’s might and matters spiritual and cultural evoke a deep state of awe and sympathy.”—Donna Seaman, Booklist 

“Ms. Ehrlich’s book adds flesh and soul and spirit to the bare bones of news reporting, filling the void left by the media and reminding us that real people live behind the headlines.” –New York Journal of Books 

“As Ehrlich concludes after her nine months there, ‘We can see the pain of loss and swing the other way, encountering the unexpected joy of survival.’ Her own account in this brief but unforgettable book is itself a heartrending and unexpected marvel.” —San Francisco Chronicle 

“Skilled reportage…As Ehrlich concludes, ‘We can see the pain of loss and swing the other way, encountering the unexpected joy of survival.’ Her own account, both harrowing and beautifully told, in this brief but unforgettable book is itself a heartrending and unexpected marvel.” —Huffington Post 

“Heartbreaking…[Ehrlich’s] reverence for this Asian culture allows her to add personal perspective to the vivid reporting about people whose lives and world were so utterly changed…Accompanying Ehrlich on these difficult but sometimes joyous journeys is reading that’s often hard to bear, but too compelling to set aside.” —Seattle Times 

“A haunting elegy and story of renewal in a world torn apart by disaster following the 2011 disasters in Japan…Erhlich writes beautifully, with a poet’s sensitivity towards not only what to write but also what to observeNewsweek Daily Beast 

“A poetic, heartbreaking look at the immediate aftermath of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami – and all that followed…In sum, the book is a masterpiece of narrative reportage that balances Ehrlich’s own reaction with the voices of the victims.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune 

“A riveting mosaic of reportage and reflection.” —Elle Magazine  

“Brave…The language is beautiful and frail, but readers will not find a conventional ending. Instead, Facing the Wave ends with the troublesome realization that the same chaos could crash into one’s own life.” —Fredericksburg Freelance Star 

“Gretel Ehrlich is a lyrical and sensitive writer who has written about nature and her manifold mysteries…Facing the Wave ends on a high and holy note of hope.” —Spirituality and Practice Magazine   

“[Gretel Ehrlich's] frequent theme is the relationship of people to the environment and how often harsh and ever-changing natural conditions affect their lives. Here, her focus is aftermath, how the survivors of Japan's March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami continue on post cataclysm. Ehrlich collects their stories, tying them together thoughtfully, even musically, with poetry, science, and her own observations, to achieve a sort of universal empathy that comes from unimaginable circumstance.” —Santa Fe New Mexican 

“Ehrlich blends lyrical prose and astute reportage in this portrait of Japan’s splintered Tohoku coast months after a devastating earthquake and tsunami.” —Kansas City Star, Best Books of 2013

Product details

  • Publisher : Pantheon; 1st edition (February 12, 2013)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 240 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0307907317
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0307907318
  • Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.72 x 1.03 x 8.55 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 51 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
51 global ratings
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