Kirkus Best Books of the Year * Kansas City Star Best Books of the Year A
passionate student of Japanese poetry, theater, and art for much of her
life, Gretel Ehrlich felt compelled to return to the earthquake-and-
tsunami-devastated Tohoku coast to bear witness, listen to survivors, and
experience their terror and exhilaration in villages and towns where all
shelter and hope seemed lost. In an eloquent narrative that blends strong
reportage, poetic observation, and deeply felt reflection, she takes us
into the upside-down world of northeastern Japan, where nothing is certain
and where the boundaries between living and dying have been erased by
water. The stories of rice farmers, monks, and wanderers; of fishermen who
drove their boats up the steep wall of the wave; and of an eighty-four-
year-old geisha who survived the tsunami to hand down a song that only she
still remembered are both harrowing and inspirational. Facing death, facing
life, and coming to terms with impermanence are equally compelling in a
landscape of surreal desolation, as the ghostly specter of Fukushima
Daiichi, the nuclear power complex, spews radiation into the ocean and air.
Facing the Wave is a testament to the buoyancy, spirit, humor, and strong-
mindedness of those who must find their way in a suddenly shattered world.

Gretel Ehrlich—Facing The Wave - A Journey In The Wake Of The Tsunami

  • 9780307949271