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Main page » Fiction literature » How to Be an American Housewife

How to Be an American Housewife


Shoko was a young woman in Japan during WWII. Once her parents realized that Japan was going to be defeated, they encouraged Shoko to marry an American and obtain a better life. She did so at the expense of her relationship with her brother, Taso, who could not forgive her for betraying her country. Jumping ahead many years, it’s clear that Shoko has done what she could to be the best American housewife. She now longs to return to Japan and reunite with Taso, but she is too ill to travel. She enlists the help of her daughter, Sue, whose own failings as a housewife have caused a rift between the women. Despite their strained relationship, Sue makes the trip and discovers another side to her mother, and family secrets that have come between them. Dilloway narrates from both women’s perspectives, sensitively dramatizing the difficulties and struggles Shoko and Sue faced in being Japanese, American, and housewives.

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Tags: Shoko, American, Japan, housewife, could, Housewife