The Strangeness of Beauty (Paperback)

By Lydia Yuri Minatoya

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393321401, 384pp.

Publication Date: January 17, 2001

List Price: 21.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"Minatoya offers a tenderly packaged gift. Unwrapping it is a pleasure." —Austin Chronicle

A quietly daring exploration of art, family, culture, and conscience, as three generations of women, American and Japanese, face a strained reunion in pre-World War II Japan. Etsuko and her six-year-old motherless niece return from jazz-age Seattle to the ancient Japanese household of Etsuko’s mysterious samurai mother. With Japanese militarism mounting, the women must learn to make peace in an absorbing tale where mothers are childless, warriors are pacifists, and beauty is found in the common and the small.

About the Author

Lydia Minatoya won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award and notable-book citations from the American Library Association and the New York Public Library for her memoir. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

Praise For The Strangeness of Beauty

How sad it was to finish Lydia Minatoya’s first novel. She allowed me to live inside the sensibilities of three generations of achingly engaging Japanese women and I did not want to let them go. The Strangeness of Beauty is a strange and beautiful work of art.

— Robert Olen Butler