MAILED:Oct. 12, 2000
When Kyoko Mori left her native Japan in 1977 she came to the United States to attend school in Illinois. For the next 22 years she stayed in the Midwest studying and later teaching creative writing in Wisconsin.
From 1984 to 1999, Mori was an associate professor of English at St. Norbert College in De Pere. Now a Briggs-Copeland lecturer in creative writing at Harvard University and author of five books, Mori will return to Wisconsin Thursday, Oct. 26, when she visits the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
"Mori is an internationally known writer, and it is a wonderful opportunity to have students meet with this caliber of a writer," English professor Karen Loeb said.
Loeb and Dr. Katherine Rhoades, assistant professor of Foundations of Education, initiated Mori's visit.
"I am teaching an honors course titled 'Power, Privilege and Inequality: Race, Class and Gender,' and, in the course, we are looking at how autobiographies can be used as a source for social science inquiry," Rhoades said.
The students in the course are experiencing autobiographies by women and men of color in this century. "I wanted an author to come to our colloquium and help us explore the theoretical concepts of autobiographies," Rhoades said.
"The Dream of Water" is Mori's memoir that explores her Japanese heritage and, more specifically, tells about her return to Japan after 13 years in the United States. Although this book is the closest thing to an actual autobiography, all four of Mori's other books use autobiographical information.
"I always think that in my novels, no character is really like me, and yet all the characters are me," Mori said.
During her visit Mori will speak to Rhoades' honors colloquium. She also will give a free public reading, with a question-and-answer session to follow, at 7 p.m. in Phillips Recital Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center. All members of the public are invited to attend the reading.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Oct. 12, 2000