A Vacation with Ghosts

In The New York Times, Summerscapes, August 11, 2004.

NOTE: "A Vacation with Ghosts" is an op ed piece I wrote for the New York Times in 2004. Looking back at it now, I can see that the it contains the seeds of A Tale for the Time Being. It's interesting to me how these childhood stories are like ghosts, floating around, shape-shifting, and popping up in unexpected places.

My first six summers were American suburban, filled with the familiar thrills of Slip ‘N Slides and sprinklers, the smell of gasoline lawnmowers and the tickle of grass blades sticking to my skin. Then, the summer I was 7, my mother took me to Japan to visit my grandmother. It was my first trip outside the United States.