From a Town on the Hudson
Yuko Koyano spent five years in the United States in the 1980s as the wife of a Japanese businessman, the mother of two sons, and an observer in her own right. She believed that the experience would open a new window on the world for herself and her family, and she was not disappointed. From the outset, Ms. Koyano was a keen observer of American life in the New Jersey town where she lived just across the Hudson from Manhattan. She soon found that her study of English Literature in college in Japan had left her ill-prepared to understand the words in her sons' schoolbooks, not to mention the ones they picked up even more quickly in the schoolyard. Nor did contemporary life in the United States match the images she had grown up with on Japanese television reruns of American sitcoms. Not deterred, Ms. Koyano entered the life of everyday America, and its cast of characters-schoolteachers, senior citizens, taxi drivers, police officers, and postal clerks-fill the pages of this affectionate memoir. The vignettes captured in From a Town on the Hudson delight, amuse, and touch the reader, and give us-host and visitor alike-an opportunity to see ourselves as others see us.