Clay That Breathes
In this collection of six short stories and a novella, Browder explores the cross-cultural displacement of Americans in Asia and of Asians in America. Whether the immigrants are Asian or American, Browder captures the anguish of dislocation, the conflicting desire of aliens for acceptance in the foreign culture, and their equally strong desire to remain essentially themselves. ",The Tiger", and ",Good Will", portray the humor and heartbreak of Cambodians and Laotians adapting to life in Kansas. In ",The Altar", and ",The Beholder's Eye", the exiles are Americans, living improvised lives in Japan where they are always too tall and too blonde. In the title novella, a young American potter goes to Japan to apprentice with a master. She learns to perfect her craft and also begins to understand a foreign attitude toward life and toward art. Browder's perception of exile is poignant and authentic. These prismatic stories give the reader a glimpse of immigrant experience from subtle, and different, points of view.
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