When the U.S military dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the American government portrayed the weapons as equivalent to large conventional bombs. Military censors restricted access to Hiroshima, but a young journalist named John Hersey managed to get there and write a devastating account of the death, destruction and radiation poisoning he encountered. Author Lesley M.M. Blume tells Hersey's story in her book, Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed it to the World.
Author Yoko Ogawa's Hotel Iris, published in Japanese in 1996, is the latest of her books to be translated into English. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the story, about a 17-year-old girl who begins an intense, sometimes violent affair with a tenant of her mother's rundown hotel, is decadent and profoundly sad.
Working for Japan's Yomiuri Shinbone newspaper, reporter Jake Adelstein uncovered a world unknown to many of the Japanese public, let alone to foreigners: the world of organized crime. He details its landscape -- and the dangers of covering it -- in a new memoir.
Louie Psihoyos' new film graphically — and movingly — documents the sale and slaughter of dolphins captured by Japanese fishermen. David Edelstein says the movie could be a game-changer for the industry.
Historian John Dower is the author of "Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II" (W.W. Norton) about the aftermath of the war on Japan, and the American military occupation. Dower says he wanted to capture a sense of what it meant to start over in a "ruined world" for people at all levels of society and how that time became a "touchstone for affirming a commitment to 'peace and democracy.'" Dower is the Elting E. Morrison Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Novelist Arthur Golden wrote the bestseller, "Memoirs of a Geisha" which was on the New York Times Bestseller List for one year. It's now out in paperback, and a movie version will be made by Stephen Spielberg. "Memoirs of a Geisha" was GOLDEN's debut as a novelist.(
Eric Lomax was captured by the Japanese during World War II. He was used as forced labor to help build the Burma-Siam railroad. He was also tortured by the Japanese. He has reconciled with the Japanese interpreter present during his beatings. His book The Railway Man: A P.O.W.'s Searing Account of War, Brutality and Forgiveness, chronicles his story from WWII and his life 50 years later. The BBC is expected to make a movie from his book "Railway Man." And Ballentine will release "Railway Man" out on paperback this month.