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Introduction & Overview of The Eskimo Connection by Hisaye Yamamoto

Hisaye Yamamoto
This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Eskimo Connection.
This section contains 322 words
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The Eskimo Connection Summary & Study Guide Description

The Eskimo Connection Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on The Eskimo Connection by Hisaye Yamamoto.

Introduction

Hisaye Yamamoto' s short story "The Eskimo Connection," published in 1983 in the Japanese-American magazine Rafu Shimpo, tells of the curious relationship between Emiko, a widowed Nisei poet living in Los Angeles and now primarily taking care of her grandchildren, and Alden, a young Eskimo in a federal penitentiary. Alden initiates a correspondence with Emiko, saying that he saw a poem of hers in a magazine and would like a critique of an essay he wrote for the prison newsletter. Emiko is, at first, very hesitant to respond to Alden, fearing that her negative impression of his writing would hurt him; and besides, she cannot imagine what they have in common. But she does answer his letter, and a two-year relationship between the two unlikely correspondents is initiated.

Yamamoto wrote this story late in her career, a good thirty years after she had received the first applause for her short stories but before she received the Before Columbus Foundations American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1986. "The Eskimo Connection" is a story of empathy between a woman, who spent time in the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II as Yamamoto did, and a "fellow Asian American" as Alden refers to himself, who is living under similar restrictive circumstances. In fact, Valerie Miner in the Nation lauds Yamamoto's "multicultural casting" in many of her stories, including "The Eskimo Connection," and credits Yamamoto's "rich variety of experiences growing up in California" and other incidents, including living in an internment camp and working for the Catholic Worker, for giving her an unusually broad but sympathetic view of the world. King-Kok Cheung, in her introduction to Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories, which includes "The Eskimo Connection," also notes that Yamamoto's themes include the relationship between Japanese immigrants and their children, the adjustments made by the first-generation Japanese— especially the women—to living in America, and "the interaction among various ethnic groups in the American West."

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This section contains 322 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Eskimo Connection Study Guide
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The Eskimo Connection from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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