Fill Your Beach Bag or City Tote with 3 Expat Stories

Three Expat Women. Three international love stories. One book giveaway.

Summer is time to let loose in flip-flops and cut-off shorts, reading the books that will mark time.

Were you that student who backpacked through Thailand, or summered in The Cape?

Maybe you doubled-up on college courses and only daydreamed of such travel, instead, watching Brokedown Palace for the fifty-sixth time, while combing through Seventeen or Vogue, NatGeo, or Ms.

Maybe you still crave the expanse of wild summer.


Here is your chance to dig into 3 fabulous expat stories within these gorgeous memoirs:

Maybe you’ll win all three! Maybe you’ll buy them for your Kindle. Take them on the plane or read, beach side, or on lunch break, adjacent to spicy noodles.
Did you know–memoir doesn’t only belong to the women who stick around long enough to grow five necks or have lived twelve decades, through five wars, across all continents, and the far-reaches of Everest? Memoir is a young, unfolding drama with stars who inspire and stories that are yet moving pictures, fireworks and evenings told with the stroke of a calligraphy brush in midnight ink. Memoir can still make you blush.

These are three that I’m touting, three you could win, buy, and shout about.

Truth be told, the only one I have not yet read is Year of Fire Dragons, by Shannon Young.

Thing is–I already know I’ll love it. Young, a twenty-something millennial, jettisons to Hong Kong, perhaps chasing a boy and moving towards their relationship (Long distance sure is tough). He leaves with work to London, only one month into her royal gesture at love, at being together, and that’s that, maybe. How uncomfortable! What gall! What opportunity. This sounds like a story.

Shannon is left to wander Hong Kong and do some growing-up and maybe a bit of growing in love, with the city. Anyways, any story considered a “Coming of Age” story, means I’ll love it. Plus, Hong Kong is intriguing. I want to see it through her eyes, the Fragrant Harbor jutting out from the sea and surrounding mountains, glittering skyscrapers, every food, every eyeful new and strange, the exotic, told by someone who could be my own friend. What a chance to see a new part of Asia and the world! Memoirs that are a bit travel writing, a bit exoticism, perhaps food writing sprinkled in, and the actual story laid-out with beauty. Let’s all be eager to report on this book, and the lot of them!

Shannon is also, mighty impressively, the editor of How Does One Dress to Buy Dragonfruit in Asia: True Stories From Expat Women in Asia. The editor. At twenty-something. Sign me up for some of that talent and chutzpah.


Next up? The Good Shufu, by Tracy Slater!

I finally had the privilege of sitting down with this witty, winsome Boston-native, over iced coffees and lots of laughs.

Tracy’s memoir is the story of a Jewish, liberal, intellectual with a PhD from Brandeis, finding herself teaching a bunch of Japanese MBA students in Osaka, Japan. She moves for love, but must negotiate the “back and forths”, in Boston, where she is equipped and confident, to an island across the world, where she is an absolutely dependent shufu, or housewife, without the abilities to be independent (Gee, sound like someone else I know??).

Keep watch for my author profile on Tracy, posted on my blog and some very fine publications. The Good Shufu is part of Barnes and Nobles’ Summer 2015 Discover Great New Writers Selection. Say you first found her here. Wink.

This is for anyone navigating the cultural complexities of and escapades of life–the wish and want of motherhood, and the unlikely ways that home unfolds in your heart. The farthest point on a map can be your most rewarding, comforting hope.


More on Tracy’s Website

Here Comes the Sun is heralded writer, Leza Lowitz’s, baby–her memoir, that is. Leza is the dynamic poet, novelist, master of multi-genre, who now brings us her personal story. Leza and I met this past week, over lunch, the very same day her jewel launched into the word. It is the story of a young woman, climbing up and out of Berkeley, at a very poignant time, to grow, learn and change, finding her story and biggest love in Japan.

She speaks of the very palpable desire for a child, and all the ways she goes about fulfilling this. Here Comes the Sun is about heart, and draws on the structure of the body’s 8 chakras to provide a framework for her healing and the moving from external to sacred.

Leza is a poet and owner of a Tokyo yoga studio, alongside partner and husband, Shogo Oketani. The two have a mighty pile of books they could sign, including Jet Black and the Ninja Wind, a powerful collaboration that illuminates the duality of the main character’s two cultures, and a changing, sometimes warring world.

Profile to come, ala Melibelle in Tokyo, and elsewhere, mes amis.

It’s summer. What an aptly-named memoir release, so many years into the making. Here it comes.



Ready to enter?? You have three days! Perhaps, you will be the lucky summer scorer, receiving this whole bundle and all the hopes of these expats’ happily-ever-afters. Perhaps you’ll read these memoirs, fruity drink in hand, and perhaps you’ll sketch out some bigger-than-life plans for your next summer, your next undertaking for love and all the sometimes feelings of disaster that being an expat in Asia can precipitate. Perhaps you’ll just stay in Iowa and breathe deep, taking in all the scents and images of dragonfruit, tempura, and udon with curry.

Happy Raffling!

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16 thoughts on “Fill Your Beach Bag or City Tote with 3 Expat Stories

  1. My memoirs have remained hidden in diaries–after reading about these three books I deeply regret not trying to publish my story—Looking forward to reading about these other women moving to Asia.

    • Cheriru, maybe this mega-launch will inspire you to dig out those stories & moments you captured, shake out their dust, and get into some reading & editing! It may be the right season & lots of fun!

      I am sure you have so much to share. Not to worry–I think stories come out at just the right time. Maybe we’ll be blogging about yours in due time. 🙂

      So glad you are here & slipping me little notes! 🙂 All best to you.

  2. Found out about this through my daughter, whom is married to a Chinese man. Thank you, love these books.

    • How fun, so through your daughter, this whole lovely, sometimes messy process of choosing love across oceans and borders, hits home! The books are each so good in their story-telling! Thanks for your note!

    • I like memoirs, too! These are, indeed, great. I love how we get to see all of the bits of shock and change as the writers navigate new lands & become “at home”, in their relationships, culture, and their very own skin, to be a bit corny! 🙂

      Thanks for your note! All best~

  3. Pingback: Stay Cool in Tokyo, With Leza Lowitz | Melibelle in Tokyo

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