A Yankee in Magnolia
Posted on March 29th, 2013 by Sara
One of our very own authors will be signing his brand new book “Yokohama Yankee: My Family’s Five Generations as Outsiders in Japan” at Magnolia’s Bookstore on March 30th at 2:30 p.m.. Leslie Helm, Magnolia resident and editor of Seattle Business magazine, is also a former Tokyo correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.
About “Yokohoma Yankee” (from Helm’s website)
Leslie Helm’s decision to adopt Japanese children launches him on a personal journey through his family’s 140 years in Japan, beginning with his German great-grandfather, who worked as a military adviser in 1870 and defied custom to marry his Japanese mistress. The family’s poignant experiences of love and war help Helm learn to embrace his Japanese and American heritage. Yokohama Yankee is the first book to look at Japan across five generations both from the inside and through foreign eyes. Helm draws extensively on primary source material including his great grandfather’s unpublished memoir to bring his family history to life. The book also contains a wealth of photographs, maps, illustrations, postcards and ephemera from the late 19th century to the present day.
The book debuted March 13 to rave reviews:
Leslie Helm has written a lively and engaging account of his remarkable family history and its intertwining with Japan. He relates the experiences of five generations from the time of his great grandfather’s arrival in Yokohama in 1869 down to the present and tells what it was like to live in Japan but still be an outsider. It is a warm and human story that will charm its readers.”
— Kenneth B. Pyle, Henry M. Jackson professor of Asian history and Asian studies, University of Washington and recipient of Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun
One of the finest correspondents to have reported on Japan, Leslie Helm tells the riveting, sometimes painful,story of his multinational, biracial merchant family. Living in Yokohama for generations in war and peace, the Helms are at the heart of Japan’s long modern history without ever actually becoming “Japanese.”
—Sheldon Garon, Nissan Professor in Japanese Studies, Professor of History and East Asian Studies, Princeton University
Helm will also be speaking about the book at Town Hall on April 3rd at 6 p.m..