Hiroshima In the Morning: An UnFugable Memoir in the vein of Eat, Pray, Love

Memoir of a Bad Mother

I know this review is a snarky but the book just brought that out in me but I feel redeemed when CapabilityMom sent me this Huffington Post article/video on her where she says that she never wanted children and that she’s worse than Hitler. CapabilityMom wrote a beautiful and balanced review of her book if you want another perspective. We were both part of the same blog tour but mine, ahem, did not get included. I wonder why?…


I don’t usually review adult literature because generally I don’t like to read it.  It’s either too violent or too depressing for me.  But when I was offered Hiroshima in the Morning by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, I accepted the challenge because:

  • I’m half Japanese like the author.
  • I spent time in Japan too, also on a fellowship to study Japanese business practices.
  • I don’t speak Japanese either.
  • I visited Hiroshima and the Memorial Museum too.
  • My ancestral Japanese relatives live one hour outside of Hiroshima.

However, as good as my intentions were (and I did carry the book around with me all vacation), I should not have deviated from my pattern of adult literature avoidance because … I just didn’t really like it.  In homage to my favorite snarky fashion blog, Go Fug Yourself, I will do a mock book review interview with Raina Reiko Rizzuto:

Me:  ” My book club has some pretty harsh words for Loving Frank‘s Mamie’s kid abandonment.  We didn’t buy the finding-myself-trying-to-be-a-feminist as an adequate reason for leaving small children.”

Raina:  “Hey, like I said in my memoir.  I went because I won the grant!”

Me:  “Yeah, ok.  You are a writer.  Why didn’t you use your creative juices to find a more local topic?  Or investigate that new fangled thing called video conference.”

Raina:  “I was going for the whole Eat, Pray, Love thing.  You know, an Asian version.  Minus the crying on the bathroom floor.”

Me:  “It’s funny but when I read Eat, Pray, Love, I really did feel like I understood what Elizabeth Gilbert was going through.  Your memoir, not so much!  The victims of the Hiroshima bomb told succinct, full frontal honest stories.  Your own story was murky, oblique, and shadowy.  Except for the part that revealed how you don’t seem afraid to impose on people.”

Raina:  “Well you know that I’ve never lived on my own before.  I can barely go to the toilet by myself.”

Me: “It’s a wonder your parenting license wasn’t revoked.”

Raina:  “I think I parent exceptionally well when my kids are half way around the world.”

Me:  “Why are you even in my blog anyway?”

Raina:  “You were the fool that agreed to review my memoir.”

Me:  “Oh yeah.  Verdict: Unfugable.  You write beautifully, but you don’t ever look at yourself deeply in the mirror so it’s hard to follow your story when you try so hard to obscure it yourself.  Try some therapy.  Maybe daily would be good.”

Raina:  “Fug you!”

Me:  “Right back at you!”

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Emm

    Ouch! But point well taken, I shall steer welll clear of this book!

  2. Love your “interview”. I am mid-review on this book myself and will send it to you when I wrap it up. My first inkling that I would have a problem with it was Ayelet Waldman’s (a self-proclaimed bad mother) blurb.

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