Summary Of The Essay School By Kyoko Mori

The story that propelled Mori 6,000 miles from her Japanese homeland is rooted in trauma.When she was 12 years old, Mori’s beloved mother put a plastic bag over her head, unhooked the gas line, held it to her mouth, and killed herself.Within two minutes of our first meeting, on a morning in September 2015, Kyoko Mori, the acclaimed author of fiction and nonfiction, is balancing her Burmese cat, Jackson (short for the singer Jackson Browne, “because he’s brown,” she explains), on her head and showing me how she can wear him like a hat.

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An eclectic mix of artwork scatters her walls: watercolors, ink sketches, and tapestries, featuring the aforementioned cats and birds and flowers.

Unlike his extroverted brother, Mori’s second cat, Miles, a sleek blue-point Siamese (named for blues musician Miles Davis, “because he’s ‘kind of blue’”), runs to hide in a closet at the first sight of me.

Norbert College, until she received a prestigious five-year appointment as Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard University and moved to Boston.

She later moved to Washington, DC, and is now a full professor in George Mason University’s MFA program and also teaches in Lesley University’s low-residency MFA program.

In 1990, during a sabbatical, Mori took her first trip back to Japan since her departure 13 years earlier.

She toured the country, including her hometown, and spent time with relatives, many of those on her mother’s side whom her father had forbidden her to see so many years before—aunts, uncles, cousins, and her 94-year-old grandmother.

A Japanese-American poet, novelist, and nonfiction writer, Mori was raised in Kobe, Japan, and, inspired by her mother and grandfather, began to write in both Japanese and English at an early age.

“These two people in my family gave me the idea that writing was something we did everyday or even every week with enjoyment.” At age 12, Mori was devastated when her mother committed suicide. Her first novel for young adults, Shizuko's Daughter (1993), was followed by a collection of poetry, Fallout (1994).

Her deep affection for and devotion to these cats is obvious.

She admits midway through our conversation, “My whole adult life has been a process of understanding that I really don’t like to travel. ” A big reason for that, she tells me, is that she hates to leave her cats.


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