The Grave on the Wall
"Lit Hub's Most Anticipated Books of 2019, Part 2"
Jul 9, 2019
The Grave on the Wall appears on this list of most anticipated books of the year.
"In this memoir, Shimoda, an American poet of Japanese descent, tells the story of his family, starting with his grandfather, who was transformed into an 'enemy alien' by World War II; and in doing so, tells a universal story of the horrors of war both physical and emotional, and the tensions that linger among people long after the wars are over. "Sometimes a work of art functions as a dream,' wrote Myriam Gurba. 'At other times, a work of art functions as a conscience. In the tradition of Juan Rulfo's Pedro Páramo, Brandon Shimoda’s The Grave on the Wall is both. It is also the type of fragmented reckoning only America could instigate.'"––Emily Temple
Jun 11, 2019
"[I]lluminates the tensions that exploded with World War II and the aftershocks within his family. . . . Shimoda wades through memories and dreams; lives and graves that have no names documented; unspeakable horrors committed by the country where his grandfather lived on the people of his native country; and the attempts to memorialize what is too graphically terrible to remember. By the end, writes the author, 'I was just learning how to see.' A memoir of sorts that blurs the boundary between the personal and the universal."
Jun 13, 2019
"Intergenerational knowledge must be actively sought, researched and retrieved––it's not a given. But while attentive to the work of remembering, Shimoda also writes through the slipperier terrain of experiencing one’s ancestry in the present, never fully manifest but felt and lived."––Steven Zultanski
"Brandon Shimoda's The Grave on the Wall is a brilliant book that lands somewhere between a memoir and essay. It dances dazzlingly between these modes with the brilliant and oblique logic of a great poem. . . . Using his family as a cypher, Shimoda investigates the xenophobia of the United States, the cruel and arbitrary nature of nations and borders, and the irreconcilable horror of the atomic bomb and Japanese internment camps. We see how the narratives of families is also that of politics. The Grave on the Wall says so much so quietly about our current moment and the enormous grandeur and terror of history that we all must contend with."––Simon Crafts, Alley Cat Bookshop, San Francisco
Excerpt in Nat.Brut
Jun 1, 2019
A chapter from The Grave on the Wall, "The Woman in the Well," is published in the spring issue of Nat.Brut.
"The (Ongoing) Ruins of Japanese-American Incarceration: Thirty Years After the Civil Liberties Act of 1988."
Mar 15, 2018
Brandon Shimoda's lecture at Fairhaven College.