Granta Books has acquired a "moving and tender memoir", provisionally titled Let Us Speak of Okinawa, by Elizabeth Miki Brina.
Acquiring editor Ka Bradley signed UK & Commonwealth ex Canada rights from Gráinne Fox at Fletcher & Co. North American rights were bought by Diana Miller at Knopf in a pre-empt. Granta Books will publish in spring 2021.
Let Us Speak of Okinawa explores Elizabeth’s relationship with her mother, a Japanese woman, and her father, a white American stationed at one of Okinawa’s US Army bases, and recounts Elizabeth’s own experience of growing up biracial in predominantly white communities in America. It also threads in the history of the Japanese island of Okinawa, devastated by the Battle of Okinawa during the Second World War.
Bradley said: “The clarity, passion and bittersweet beauty of Elizabeth’s prose is a gift to her readers. Though her journey is deeply personal, the questions she asks about cultural identity, the uneasiness of not-quite-belonging and the weight of inherited trauma will resonate with many. Let Us Speak of Okinawa is also one of the most honest and heartbreaking depictions of a mother-daughter relationship that I have ever read. This courageous book dares to bear witness to personal and historical pain, and examines the unexpected places we’re taken to by love.”
Brina received her MFA in creative writing from the University of New Orleans. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Bread Loaf Scholarship and a New York Summer Writers Institute Scholarship and currently lives in New Orleans where she teaches composition at Xavier University.