As it follows a Japanese housewife named Mariko Tanaka over the course of a year, The Secrets of Mariko transcends reportage to yield the kind of human insights we expect from literature. Meet Mariko, a cheerful, overscheduled woman who cares for three children, two aging parents, and an unresponsive husband. As readers watch Mariko take part in PTA meetings, bicker with her teenagers, and pursue independence through her part-time job, they come to see Mariko as someone whose dreams and disappointments mirror our own.
About Elisabeth Bumiller
Elisabeth Bumiller, a Washington reporter for The New York Times, was a Times White House correspondent from September 10, 2001, to 2006. She is the author of May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons: A Journey Among the Women of India and The Secrets of Mariko: A Year in the Life of a Japanese Woman and Her Family. She wrote much of this book as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center and as a transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband, Steven R. Weisman, and two children.
From the Hardcover edition.
"A rich, sustained look at real life in middle-class Tokyo....full of cultural insight.... Her discussions of [Japanese society] are clear, well-reported and skillfully interwoven with the portrait of Mariko"--Kyoko Mori, The New York Times Book Review