Bamboo Secrets: One Woman's Quest Through the Shadows of Japan (Paperback)
While living in Japan in 1993, Patricia Dove Miller's dream of a year of exploration and personal growth is shattered when her husband is detained on drug charges. Miller struggles with a sense of betrayal upon learning her husband's secrets and yet she stands by him, fighting to save both him and their marriage in the face of the terrifying uncertainties now confronting them. To save herself, she seeks refuge in two Japanese traditional arts--ikebana and shakuhachi (bamboo flute)--which not only nourish and strengthen her, but also lead her to finally discover, at age fifty-two, her life's passion: to become a writer. Bamboo Secrets: One Woman's Quest through the Shadows of Japan weaves together four strands: a mature woman in search of herself, a marriage in trouble, the dark side of Japan, and the beauty of Japanese art and culture.
About the Author
Patricia Dove Miller is a third-generation Californian, born and raised in the Berkeley hills. She has lived in the mountains outside of Cali, Colombia, in a tiny rice-farming village in North Thailand, and also at the edge of the northeastern hills in Kyoto, Japan. She attended Stanford University, and much later, at the age of sixty-six, completed her MFA in creative writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is also an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. She now lives with her husband in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California, where she teaches creative writing and practices ikebana, shakuhachi, and Zen meditation.
Bamboo Secrets was recognized as one of the Top Five Finalists in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for 2017!
“A well-written, sensitive portrayal of coming to terms with a disrupted Asian idyll . . . Miller writes with honesty, clarity, and insight about her dilemma.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A natural observer and observer of nature, Pat makes full use of the senses in her descriptions, whether the fall of light and shadow through a window, the texture of the tatami mats, the murkiness of a bowl of miso, or the smells of fresh ink, clay, and flowers. A complete and vivid picture comes to mind as these smallest details converge . . . Bamboo Secrets is a travel adventure, a story of personal transformation, and an account of a legal battle, but above all it is . . . a transcendent exploration of the fascinating people, culture, and landscape of Japan.” —Five-star Foreword Clarion Review
“Bamboo Secrets is a gripping, moving tale of loss, love, and tremendous human resilience. Miller’s prose is honest and insightful and powerful.” —Nina Schuyler, author of the award-winning novel The Translator
“Patricia Dove Miller has woven for us a tapestry as shaded with nuance as the Japanese culture itself.” —Christopher Noel, author of In the Unlikely Event of a Water Landing: A Geography of Grief
“A painfully honest and harrowing tale of personal and cultural awakening.” —Liza Dalby, anthropologist and author of Geisha, Kimono, The Tale of Murasaki, and Hidden Buddhas
“Bamboo Secrets is a lovely series of nested boxes. You open the first lacquered square to find the story of a vastly unfortunate choice; you open that to journey with an expat through Japan; the next ones offer an abiding affection for that culture, with meditations on temples, pottery, futons, family, and the joys of flower arranging. Shimmering around the whole is how a marriage builds and lasts through adversity, and through it slides the haunting notes of the shakuhachi flute.” —Sands Hall, author of Catching Heaven and Tools of the Writer’s Craft