The Grave on the Wall

The Grave on the Wall





"The Fruits of Suffering"
Sep 1, 2019

An excerpt from The Grave on the Wall is published in Harper's September 2019 issue.

- Brandon Shimoda

"We Have Been Here Before"
Aug 21, 2019

Op-ed by Brandon Shimoda published in The Nation, discussing how Japanese American incarceration are the blueprint for today's migrant detention camps.

- Brandon Shimoda

Brandon Shimoda interviewed for Tin House's Between the Covers
Aug 19, 2019

In conversation with David Naimon.

- David Naimon and Brandon Shimoda

New Sinews
Oct 30, 2019

"An ancestral memoir fluttering with airy exactitude between spells of dream-journal and travelogue, self-appraising photo-compendium and documentary testament to the obfuscation of the facts of Japanese-American incarceration during the second World War, The Grave on The Wall is also a kind of dirge lamenting the broader dirge-scape. . . . The Grave on The Wall crawls over and across itself via a kind timeliness-beyond-temporality. Indeed, there is even something of an aptly preemptive nostalgia for our shared future embedded in The Grave on The Wall's forecast for communal memory."––Steve Barbaro


High Country News
Oct 30, 2019

"Shimoda travels to places from Midori's life to tell not just the story of his grandfather, but also of himself and of the racist history that, then as now, has damaged families and excluded many from citizenship. Along the way he sees much that has been irredeemably ground to dust. His book is a memorable and memorializing work that depicts the pain of trying to recover what can never be regained, from lost lives to a lost sense of home that transcends generations."––Abby Manzella


"Understanding Japanese Americans and living history"
Sep 18, 2019

Brandon Shimoda interviewed in Tucson Weekly.

- Vianney Cardenas

"Q&A with Brandon Shimoda: 'The Grave on the Wall' and Writing with Ghosts"
Sep 12, 2019

Interview with Brandon Shimoda with ZYZZYVA Magazine.

- Scout Turkel

"Reading with . . . Brandon Shimoda"
Sep 4, 2019

Brandon Shimoda appears in Shelf-Awareness's interview series.

- Brandon Shimoda

"Hiroshima Library: A Date with History"
Jul 31, 2019

Brandon Shimoda's Hiroshima Library project in Bellingham, WA is profiled.

- Amy Kepferle

"Diary: Brandon Shimoda, A House That No Longer Exists"
Sep 2, 2019

An excerpt from The Grave on the Wall appears in Book Post


Shelf Awareness (Starred Review)
Aug 19, 2019

"Relying on his skills as a poet, Shimoda enhances the elusive details of [his grandfather's] life with his own journeys of discovery, creating an impressive prose debut. The compelling result is a meditative memoir-of-sorts about his grandfather, his extended family, his ancestral heritage, and ultimately himself as a 21st-century Japanese American. . . . Through his expansive pursuit, Shimoda alchemizes his family's recollections and confessions, his country's trespasses, his legacy of loss, into elegant, haunting testimony."––Terry Hong


Booklist (Starred Review)
Aug 28, 2019

"Shimoda brings his poetic lyricism to this moving and elegant memoir, the structure of which reflects the fragmentation of memories. [Shimoda] looks for his grandfather's [Midori's] origin story in Nakanose, a town near Hiroshima that may no longer be whole; pieces together the ugly history of the U.S. internment camps, and wrestles with the remove at which he views his grandfather toward the sunset of his life. It is at once wistful and devastating to see Midori's life come full circle . . . In between is a life with tragedy, love, and the horrors unleashed by the atomic bomb."––Poornima Apte


Excerpt published in the Paris Review
Aug 12, 2019
- Brandon Shimoda

"#ColorlinesReads: 6 Books That Explore How We Construct Our Identities"
Aug 12, 2019

The Grave on the Wall appears on this reading list in Colorlines.

- Catherine Lizette Gonzalez

Chapter one of The Grave on the Wall excerpted in AAWW's blog The Margins
Aug 8, 2019
- Brandon Shimoda

"5 Artists Who Explore Japanese-American Incarceration and Internment"
Aug 8, 2019

A list of 5 artists whose work influenced Brandon Shimoda's ongoing project of "reporting directly from or proliferating the ruins of Japanese-American incarceration."

- Brandon Shimoda

"Finding Photos of My Grandfather in a Japanese Internment Camp"
Jul 30, 2019

An except from The Grave on the Wall published in Lit Hub.

- Brandon Shimoda

"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


Frieze
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


Kirkus Reviews
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."


Bookseller Endorsement

"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.

- Brandon Shimoda

"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.