Marie Mutsuki Mockett

Johanna Lawshea

Marie Mutsuki Mockett’s novel Picking Bones from Ash was shortlisted for the 2010 Saroyan Prize and the Asian American Literary Awards for Fiction and was a finalist for the Paterson Prize. She has written for the New York Times, Salon, National Geographic, and other publications. Her memoir Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey (W. W. Norton & Company) explores Mockett’s quest for consolation after the death of her Japanese grandfather, and American father. Her journey leads her into the radiation zone surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in an intricate white hazmat suit; to Eiheiji, a school for Zen Buddhist monks; on a visit to a Crab Lady and Fuzzy-Headed Priest’s temple on Mount Doom, among other twists and turns. From the ecstasy of a cherry blossom festival in the radiation zone to the ghosts inhabiting chopsticks, Mockett writes of both the earthly and the sublime with extraordinary sensitivity.