The Winter of Melancholy short story collection follows three generations of courageous Japanese American women from the early 20th century to postwar baby boomers. Their experiences explore transpacific family ties, providing insights into the difficulties faced by family members on both sides of the ocean.
The story opens in Manzanar, a WWII relocation compound in the Mojave Desert where Japanese American citizens were incarcerated a;pmg with their immigrant family members. During this period of isolation, separation and suffering of one extended family, the resilience of the women, their strength, spirit and compassion weaves through their stories from immigrant to post war generations.
Other stories include: a midwife who drives up and down the El Camino Real to ply her trade; and a Nisei woman who translates Japanese radio programs for the U.S. army to intercept troop movements during WWII. These and other stories trace the challenges that women encountered in the face of racism, social change, duty as a breadwinner, and finding ways to forge and retain familial connections.