The Grave on the Wall

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by Brandon Shimoda

A memoir and book of mourning, a grandson’s attempt to reconcile his own uncontested citizenship with his grandfather’s lifelong struggle.

Award-winning poet Brandon Shimoda has crafted a lyrical portrait of his paternal grandfather, Midori Shimoda, whose life—child migrant, talented photographer, suspected enemy alien and spy, desert wanderer, American citizen—mirrors the arc of Japanese America in the twentieth century. In a series of pilgrimages, Shimoda records the search to find his grandfather, and unfolds, in the process, a moving elegy on memory and forgetting.