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Aftermath Summary
Mary Yukari Waters

Everything you need to understand or teach Aftermath by Mary Yukari Waters.

  • Aftermath Summary & Study Guide

Aftermath Summary

Introduction

Mary Yukari Waters's "Aftermath" was first published in the journal Manoa in 2001 and is found in her first short story collection, The Laws of Evening, published by Scribner in 2003. The short story was also included in the anthology The Best American Short Stories 2002. As of 2005, The Laws of Evening remains Waters's only published book.

Like most of the stories in The Laws of Evening, "Aftermath" focuses on the life of an individual trying to cope with dramatic change in Japan after the end of World War II. The story's main character Makiko is a young Japanese widow, whose husband was killed while fighting American forces during the war. Following Japan's surrender to the Allied forces, Makiko struggles to raise their seven-year-old son Toshi in the years right after World War II, as the United States occupies Japan and subsidizes its recovery from the war. Makiko tries to instill traditional...

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