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

The Good Shufu Finding Love Self and Home on the Far Side of the World The brave wry irresistible journey of a fiercely independent American woman who finds everything she ever wanted in the most unexpected place Shufu in Japanese it means housewife and it s the last

  • Title: The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World
  • Author: Tracy Slater
  • ISBN: 9780399166204
  • Page: 119
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The brave, wry, irresistible journey of a fiercely independent American woman who finds everything she ever wanted in the most unexpected place Shufu in Japanese it means housewife, and it s the last thing Tracy Slater ever thought she d call herself A writer and academic, Tracy carefully constructed a life she loved in her hometown of Boston But everything is upendeThe brave, wry, irresistible journey of a fiercely independent American woman who finds everything she ever wanted in the most unexpected place Shufu in Japanese it means housewife, and it s the last thing Tracy Slater ever thought she d call herself A writer and academic, Tracy carefully constructed a life she loved in her hometown of Boston But everything is upended when she falls head over heels for the most unlikely mate a Japanese salary man based in Osaka, who barely speaks her language Deciding to give fate a chance, Tracy builds a life and marriage in Japan, a country both fascinating and profoundly alienating, where she can read neither the language nor the simplest social cues There, she finds herself dependent on her husband to order her food, answer the phone, and give her money When she begins to learn Japanese, she discovers the language is inextricably connected with nuanced cultural dynamics that would take a lifetime to absorb Finally, when Tracy longs for a child, she ends up trying to grow her family with a Petri dish and an army of doctors with whom she can barely communicate And yet, despite the challenges, Tracy is sustained by her husband s quiet love, and being with him feels like home than anything ever has Steadily and surely, she fills her life in Japan with meaningful connections, a loving marriage, and wonder at her adopted country, a place that will never feel natural or easy, but which provides endless opportunities for growth, insight, and sometimes humor A memoir of travel and romance, The Good Shufu is a celebration of the life least expected messy, overwhelming, and deeply enriching in its complications.

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      Published :2019-02-21T22:57:36+00:00

    One thought on “The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World”

    1. I was drawn to The Good Shufu based on the topic and description, but I didn't love the execution. Tracy Slater's memoir of the first few years of her relationship and marriage to a Japanese man is touted as a book about how Slater's North American feminism collides with the social expectations she finds as a wife in Japan. In reality, much of the book takes place before the marriage, and is about Slater's mixed feelings about moving to Japan and getting married -- it feels like it's more about [...]

    2. Japan is still very much male-dominated country where Men expect women to take supportive roles in every situation. For an independent Japanese woman, it's not easy to be married to a typical Japanese man. I know it because I'm Japanese and chose to marry to a Caucasian American Man and moved to USAE GOOD SHUFU's author Tracy Slater was a very independent women living in Boston. However, she fell in love with a Japanese guy who didn't even speak good English. What did she do? She not only marrie [...]

    3. An interesting book about a self-described independent feminist who falls in love with a Japanese businessman, marries him, tries to live a life in both Japan and Boston. It seemed ironic to me that she loved her husband because he made her feel safe and took care of everything for her. Her feminism flew right out the window. She whined a lot about unimportant things, and I felt cheated by the way she ended the book. Having said that though, this was a book club assignment and it should be a ver [...]

    4. I enjoyed this so much! It's a memoir by a proudly feminist professor who teaches a course in conversational English to Japanese businessmen, falls in love with one of them, and moves to Japan. Slater really captures the joys of a new relationship, and the strangeness and wonderfulness of dating someone from a different culture. She's self-aware, self-deprecating, and insightful. She paints a vivid picture of Japan. And her portrait of her father-in-law made me cry and cry. Docking one star beca [...]

    5. The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World by Tracy Slater is a very enjoyable memoir. I picked it to read because I married someone from a different culture too, only Chinese instead of Japanese. Also the blurb about her boyfriend who later became her husband was about such a sweet and understanding human being. Someone cautioned me that his personality goes against the stereotypical uncaring Japanese man! Of course, that statement did not stop me.My only negative [...]

    6. I spent most of my reading time wondering why this self-proclaimed "fiercely independent" feminist spent so much of her time shackled to worries about future problems that seemed to hold her back from actually being fiercely independent. Sadly, this seemed to be the underlying theme, though I'm sure unintended on her part. It read more like a long-winded meandering fish out of water story with a moderate collection of interesting Japanese culture that seem more like anecdotes. I guess I was hopi [...]

    7. I absolutely loved this book and read it in 72 hours, but only because it was the end of my kids' school year and I was busier than usual. Tracy Slater writes a deeply moving, honest memoir about her big move to Japan for a man she meets while she's teaching in an executive MBA program in East Asia. Toru is a salaryman who has studied English, but doesn't speak it fluently. Tracy knows no Japanese and has never thought much about Japan before moving there for a short time to teach. But love ofte [...]

    8. this was so interesting!tracy slater is a feminist english professor, boston born and raised. while teaching an english course to japanese mba students, she falls in love with one of her students, a japanese salaryman named toru. cue a life lived part time in osaka and slater musing over her relationship, culture clash, and her idea of homepart of what got me into it is this is really a book about two distinctive and foreign cultures to me. slater is from a very moneyed background which intersec [...]

    9. I was really excited to read this book and had high hopes. However, it is just one really long WHINE about her life, insecurities, and first world problems. I was more sympathetic until a certain point in the book when she mentioned she was 40 years old and I felt shocked that I wasn't reading the words of a twenty-something. The author comes across as very spoiled and self-centered though she does step up into the role of shufu in terms of the care she gives her father-in-law. Mostly though I w [...]

    10. This is a book that begs to be read by everyone, everywhere. The journey Tracy takes to wholeness through following her heart to the other side of the world and making a life in an environment that is so radically different from the one she left behind is as instructive as it is inspirational. She observes with gentle humor the trials and triumphs of learning to communicate with her husband, his family, and how to adapt to a country that she may never be able to call her own. As a fellow foreign [...]

    11. I was sort of on the fence about this story. I had picked it up because I was hoping for a good read about Japanese culture. I'm hoping to go to Japan someday, so I thought this would be helpful. And yes, it was about Japanese culture, but it was about so much more than that! This was really less about Japan and more about Tracy. It was about struggles with culture changes, love, and careers. Tracy is a liberal, feminist academic. And being put into a country that is very conservative can be a s [...]

    12. I really loved this book about finding love in an unexpected place across the globe. It is a personal memoir written by an expat in Japan, and it touches on culture shock, living between two cultures/continents, finding yourself, and it also has some great TTC chronicles. It is a great read for intercultural couples and especially expat women. Tracy was a successful feminist in Boston, who then moved to Japan to become a housewife ("shufu") and helped care for her aging father-in-law - and she f [...]

    13. 4.5 stars, rounded up. This was a quick, entertaining read, yet it ran deeper than most popular memoirs I've read. I felt like Tracy opened herself up to her readers, and her prose was honest and engaging. I also really enjoyed seeing Japan through one kind of feminist lens -- and appreciated how she assimilated into the culture while upholding her own values. It was a good example of how modern feminism takes many forms, and it got the wheels turning in my head.[Some mild “spoilers” ahead:] [...]

    14. Less a book about adapting to a new culture and more a book about one woman in particular going through her own personal struggles. It was okay; it just wasn't what I expected, and not exactly what I was looking for. Had I known the latter third of the book would be so focused on her attempts to get pregnant, I likely wouldn't have picked this up.Also, as a linguist I was incredibly frustrated by her complete disinterest in learning the language of the man she married. Of course not knowing the [...]

    15. Read this book during my first visit to Japan, as a 'primer' into its very special culture. Writing is eloquent and fluent, as expected from an accomplished graduate of Literature, a classic American intellectual describing her own story of 'gaijin' (foreign) love and getting accustomed to living in Japan; maybe the story is a little distant at times, as if the author is trying a little too hard to pull us into her life, but this did not diminish its impact for me. Nice reading if interested in [...]

    16. I was attracted to this book for several reasons: a fascination with the culture of Japan; the idea of a feminist moving to a country where there's a decidedly different playing field.I didn't expect to fall in love with Tracy, and with her dear husband, Toru, and with her father-in-law. There were quite a few tears shed at places in this book--but won't spoil it by saying where and why. This is an intensely personal and honest memoir that I'll be thinking about for a long time, and recommending [...]

    17. Even now I am astonished at how the author refused point blank to learn her husband or new country's language It was an actual case of wilful ignorance. She seems incapable of even imagining that other people (such as her husband, or other Japanese citizens who are living in their own country) might have preferred or culturally different ways of thinking about or living their lives. When Tracy even entertains a ghost of this thought, it is alongside derision. Let's be real: For her entire life, [...]

    18. I've been wanting to read this book for a long time, and finally got it for Christmas and quickly devoured it. I'd been following the author's blog for a while, and had grown very curious to know how she and her husband met and the details about their relationship (which Slater shrewdly--but irritatingly--doesn't share online, so as to promote interest in the book). I honestly thought I would love this book, as another American feminist expat in Japan who has dated Japanese men. Unfortunately I [...]

    19. Interesting memoir, interesting mostly because it is demographically unusual--white woman gets involved with Japanese man, gets married. (Increasingly less unusual, but still less-often seen than the reverse; "international marriage" is also often coded to be white-Japanese, and since "gaijin" is coded usually to be white, it feels like a layer is missing). I can't speak to the gay world/s, as my gay friends are more international). The book feels a bit like it oversells her feminism--or maybe b [...]

    20. Tracy Slater had a dream life. She lived in Boston, a city she loved with a passion, in an apartment that was dear to her. She had a promising academic career, teaching gender studies to undergraduates and creative writing to MBA students and to the inmates at a prison. One day, she's picked to teach East Asians in an executive MBA program how to lead teams and run meetings in English. That assignment changes her life forever.Almost immediately upon her posting to Japan, she meets Toru, one of h [...]

    21. “The Good Shufu” by Tracy Slater chronicles her transformation from a single, middle-aged Bostonian college professor of business writing courses who splits her schedule giving writing classes to prison inmates, to a business writing professor for ESL Japanese/Korean students who ultimately gets married to one of these students—Toru—and makes the difficult but exciting decision to build her life with him in his native Japan.The memoir is split into the following sections: Departure, The [...]

    22. Details are the essence of any great story, so you know there's trouble when a marriage memoir’s two lovers meet on page 15 and are in love by page 19. “The Good Shufu” reads less like a 300-page book and more like a 300-page Cliff’s Notes on the author’s adult life. Tracy Slater moves us from continent to continent and milestone to milestone, only rarely allowing us a moment to breathe in the characters, the milieu. Thus the book never meets its emotional potential. Equally frustratin [...]

    23. This book was a personal story of one woman's experience with culture shock. As a highly educated white woman of privilege from New England, Tracy Slater finds herself in a foreign country teaching English to Asian businessmen, and immediately realizes she's in over her head, having no formal experience with the role, knowing little to nothing of the social and gendered protocols of foreign culture, despite her past extensive travels. She meets and falls in love with one of her adult students To [...]

    24. I really enjoyed this book. It captured me right away. Not as much of a view of Japan as I had expected, it is more the story of one person's search for identity while moving between Japan and Boston. This is a wonderfully engaging memoir. Ms Slater is very honest in sharing her worries and fears and triumphs. Her love for her husband and his for her really shine through. I was surprised that she was so slow to learn Japanese, though I know it is a very difficult language. Her relationship with [...]

    25. I picked this up because I used to live in Japan and thought I could relate to some of her story. No, I wasn't a housewife, but a lot of expat experiences are universal and I thought she might be able to provide a funny or thought provoking spin on things. Not so much. There were a few isolated moments that were hilarious (like the interaction between her and her Japanese teacher at the YWCA), but for the most part she just seemed insecure and anxious about everything. I was looking for funny an [...]

    26. 2,5 starts. It is a book about fears and worries. The author was afraid to fall in love, get married, move to another country, find herself, get pregnant, not to get pregnant. There are not much about Japan and its customs what I wish I could find, no description of food or nature, but a lot about sad author's childhood and her prospectives to perfect adulthood. The begging was promising But in the middle of the book Japan as a Far Side of the World was lost. The second part of the book is about [...]

    27. I always enjoy memoirs about culture shock and expat living and this one was really fascinating to read. Slater is obsessed with maintaining her feminist attitude and her independence (and her love of Boston), while trying to reconcile that to the cultural norms of her new country and family. She becomes intertwined in her new family by helping her husband care for his aging, sickly father (who lives with them until shortly before he passes away). Her complicated new life also includes a heart-b [...]

    28. The Good Shufu by Tracy Slater is a free NetGalley ebook that I began reading in late June quite abruptly, since I learned it would be 'archived' (unavailable for download) in about three days time. Sheesh, gimme some time, peeps!Immediately, Slater's tone is haphazard and scattershot, except in matters of Toru, where there's real feeling, determination, and warmth. This leaves the stories that make up their life together to be threadbare with anxiety in some spots and warm-woven with assurednes [...]

    29. First I was not that absorbed in the the story of this book. It was another report on how exotic and different japan is with a side order of how the writer felt unconsciously superior because she was a working scholar rather than a submissive housewife. But after this half was done and the writer started to genuinely interact and understand the people around her and feel where their values and traditions (though some bizarre or unacceptable to western cultures) are coming from, I felt I am readi [...]

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