Turning Japanese by MariNaomi


In this graphic memoir, author MariNaomi takes us with her on a journey where she attempts to connect with her roots and discover what her heritage means to her. She does many things to bridge the gap between past and present, among which is a trip to Japan in order to find answers to questions she’s had for many years. A heart-wrenching story that will make you feel every emotion that can be felt as well as a cultural awakening, so to speak, and a search for identity.

Turning Japanese by MariNaomi

Genre: Nonfiction/Memoir/Graphic Novel
Release Date: May 2016
Source: Library – Borrowed
On My Shelf: I Wish


I don’t know how long you’ve been following this blog. Based on the amount of follows I’ve been gaining lately, the chances are not long. But, if it has been awhile, you may remember me falling in love with the book Dragon’s Breath by this author. After reading that one, Naomi, became a fast-favorite as well as an auto-read/auto-buy author for me. So, when I saw the Library had gotten in Turning Japanese, which I had been anxiously anticipating the release of, I dove at it.

I read it the very next day. Yes, I was literally that excited. And, I was not disappointed. This touching memoir is about more than Naomi’s journey to connect with her ancestry. It went deeper than that and was about reconciliation, hope, and, ultimately, finding out that sometimes experiences aren’t what we think they’re going to be.

Naomi writes candidly about her journey/experiences concerning trying to find and bridge the gap with a part of herself she felt disconnected from. This story is more than solely about her self-discovery in terms of race, though, it’s also partly a story about her relationship with her mother, particularly about the forced estrangement her mother placed between her daughter and her culture and how that, in turn, consequenced Naomi.

This memoir is moving, funny, beautiful, bitter, joyful, and more than a little heartbreaking. Naomi has successfully put into words what it is to be human and how real life is never perfect. She pairs the story with her simplistic yet absolutely lovely illustrations, bringing her story to life. I am a huge fan of Naomi’s drawing style and loved every panel.

Between her drawing skills paired with her storytelling abilities, this memoir is a must-readcannot recommend it enough.

Noami’s story was interesting and complex, and just so real. Following her journey felt like a privilege that I’m glad I was granted. Now its your turn to go on that journey and see what you find along the way.

Book Depository – $17.47

The End


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