Join us for an evening with Amy Beth Stanley, a history professor at Northwestern University and author of the widely reviewed book Stranger in the Shogun's City: A Japanese Woman and Her World (Scribner, July 2020). Set in early 19th century Edo (now Tokyo), this reads-like-fiction work of history centers around the life story of a runaway divorcee, who serves as the reader's guide to the drama of 19th century Edo (now Tokyo) just prior to the arrival of American Commodore Perry's fleet, which ended Japan's 250 years of self-imposed isolation.
IS REQUIRED FOR THIS VIRTUAL PROGRAM, WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE ON ZOOM. About 24
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GPL has a copy of Professor Stanley's book, but if you'd like to purchase it, one option would be to order it from The Book Stall in Winnetka. Here is a link to the order form:
About Stranger in the Shogun's City (from Simon and Schuster):
A vivid, deeply researched work of history that explores the life of an unconventional woman during the first half of the 19th century in Edo—the city that would become Tokyo—and a portrait of a great city on the brink of a momentous encounter with the West. The daughter of a Buddhist priest, Tsuneno was born in a rural Japanese village and was expected to live a traditional life much like her mother’s. But after three divorces—and a temperament much too strong-willed for her family’s approval—she ran away to make a life for herself in one of the largest cities in the world: Edo, a bustling metropolis at its peak.
With Tsuneno as our guide, we experience the drama and excitement of Edo just prior to the arrival of American Commodore Perry’s fleet, which transformed Japan. During this pivotal moment in Japanese history, Tsuneno bounces from tenement to tenement, marries a masterless samurai, and eventually enters the service of a famous city magistrate. Tsuneno’s life provides a window into 19th-century Japanese culture—and a rare view of an extraordinary woman who sacrificed her family and her reputation to make a new life for herself, in defiance of social conventions.
Immersive and fascinating, Stranger in the Shogun’s City is a revelatory work of history, layered with rich detail and delivered with beautiful prose, about the life of a woman, a city, and a culture.
An associate professor at Northwestern University. Ms. Stanley's academic focus is on early modern and modern Japan with special interests in women's/gender history and global history. For more on her academic work, click here.
For reviews of Stranger in the Shogun's City, click here.
Event Type(s): Author Event
Age Group(s): Adult
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