Third Place Books is thrilled to welcome Susan Ito to our Ravenna store! Ito will be discussing her new memoir, I Would Meet You Anywhere, in conversation with Angela Tucker, the author of "You Should Be Grateful": Stories of Race, Identity, and Transracial Adoption. This event is free and open to the public.
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“Susan Kiyo Ito is like a surgeon operating on herself. She is delicate, precise, and at times cutting with her words. But it is all in service of her own healing and to encourage us all to be brave enough to do the same in our own stories.” —W. Kamau Bell
A memoir of one Japanese American adoptee's experiences with her birth mother, love, family, and identity, that not only looks at the author's experience as a mixed-race adoptee, but at larger legacies of Japanese American experience in the United States, including the lasting traumas of World War II internment.
Growing up with adoptive nisei parents, Susan Kiyo Ito knew only that her birth mother was Japanese American and her father white. But finding and meeting her birth mother in her early twenties was only the beginning of her search for answers, history, and identity. Though the two share a physical likeness, an affinity for ice cream, and a relationship that sometimes even feels familial, there is an ever-present tension between them, as a decades-long tug-of-war pits her birth mother’s desire for anonymity against Ito’s need to know her origins, to see and be seen. Along the way, Ito grapples with her own reproductive choices, the legacy of the Japanese American incarceration experience during World War II, and the true meaning of family. An account of love, what it’s like to feel neither here nor there, and one writer’s quest for the missing pieces that might make her feel whole, I Would Meet You Anywhere is the stirring culmination of Ito’s decision to embrace her right to know and tell her own story.
“Unguarded [and] penetrating … [Ito] finally claims her identity, her truth, her rallying cry of ‘I exist.’”
—Terry Hong, Booklist
“An intimate, deftly told story illuminating adoption’s complications and losses, I Would Meet You Anywhere is sure to move anyone who has ever felt rootless, questioned their place within their family, or longed for deeper self-understanding.”
—Nicole Chung, author of A Living Remedy
“Susan Kiyo Ito is like a surgeon operating on herself. She is delicate, precise, and at times cutting with her words. But it is all in service of her own healing and to encourage us all to be brave enough to do the same in our own stories.”
—W. Kamau Bell, author of Do the Work! An Antiracist Activity Book
“I Would Meet You Anywhere is the poignant memoir of Susan Kiyo Ito’s search for her birth parents. Ito’s story opens the door to Japanese American adoptions with insight and understanding into the complexities of family, identity, and choice. A rich and compelling read.”
—Gail Tsukiyama, author of The Brightest Star: A Novel
Susan Kiyo Ito is the coeditor of the literary anthology A Ghost at Heart’s Edge: Stories and Poems of Adoption. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. A MacDowell Fellow, she has also been awarded residencies at the Mesa Refuge, Hedgebrook, and Blue Mountain Center. She has performed her solo show, The Ice Cream Gene, around the US and adapted Untold Stories: Life, Love, and Reproduction for the theater. She writes and teaches in the Bay Area.
Angela Tucker is the Executive Director of the Adoptee Mentoring Society and a well-known voice in the conversation about interracial adoption. Through The Adopted Life LLC, Tucker blogs, offers regular consulting for agencies and families, hosts monthly Adoptee Lounges for adult adoptees, and spends her weekends mentoring adopted youth. Tucker earned a BA in Psychology from Seattle Pacific University and lives in Seattle with her husband.
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