Making Memoir: From Situation to Story

With Leza Lowitz and Tracy Slater

Moderator: Liane Wakabayashi

Date: November 28, 2015 (Saturday)
Time: 7:00-8:00 p.m. (doors open for socializing at 6:00)
Place: Wesley Center, Minami Aoyama (Tokyo) Room 204 (Map)

RSVP: Please let us know if you are coming at SWET Events
Fee: No charge

The road to memoir is paved with good intentions. How do you move from situation to story? How much truth do you tell? And what about privacy? What changes have to be made for narrative flow? How do you marry fact and fiction?

In this SWET craft talk, writers of multicultural memoirs Leza Lowitz and Tracy Slater will discuss their writing processes and delve into the joys and pains of the writing, editing, publication, and marketing processes.

About the authors
Leza Lowitz has published 18 books. Here Comes the Sun—about her quest for motherhood across two continents, two decades, and 2,000 yoga poses—is her first memoir. She has received the APALA Award, the PEN Josephine Miles Poetry Award, the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Translation Award. (see

Tracy Slater’s memoir The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self & Home on the Far Side of the World (Penguin | Putnam) was named a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection and a National Geographic “great new read.” She is also the founder of the award-winning global literary series Four Stories (see

About the books

Here Comes the Sun: A Journey to Adoption in 8 Chakras

By Leza Lowitz

At 30, Californian Leza Lowitz is single and traveling the world, which suits her just fine. Coming of age in Berkeley during the feminist revolution of the 1970s, she learned that marriage and family could wait. Or could they? When Leza moves to Japan and falls in love with a Japanese man, her heart opens in ways she never thought possible. But she’s still an outsider, and home is far away. Rather than struggle to fit in, she opens a yoga studio and makes a home for others. Then, at 44, Leza and her Japanese husband seek to adopt—in a country where bloodlines are paramount and family ties are almost feudal in their cultural importance. She travels to India to work on herself and back to California to deal with her past. Something is still not complete until she learns that when you give a little love to a child, you get the whole world in return. The author’s deep connection to yoga shows her that infertile does not mean inconceivable. By adapting and adopting, she transcends her struggles and embraces the joys of motherhood. “Here Comes the Sun proves that love is not bound by blood. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in that which connects us, holds us together, and makes us family.”—MC Yogi

Stonebridge Press, June 2015

The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, & Home on the Far Side of the World

By Tracy Slater

The Good Shufu is a true story of multicultural love, marriage, and mix-ups. When Tracy Slater, a highly independent American academic, falls head-over-heels in love with the least likely person in the world—a traditional Japanese salaryman who barely speaks English—she must choose between the existence she’d meticulously planned in the US and life as an illiterate housewife in Osaka. Rather than an ordinary travel memoir, this is a book about building a whole life in a language you don’t speak and a land you can barely navigate, and yet somehow finding a truer sense of home and meaning than ever before. A Summer ’15 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, The Good Shufu is a celebration of the life least expected: messy, overwhelming, and deeply enriching in its complications.

Putnam/Penguin, June 30, 2015