so·journ [n. soh-jurn; v. soh-jurn, soh-jurn]
/ noun; a temporary stay / verb; (used without object) to stay for a time in a place; to live temporarily.
Julia Megumi / ジュリア恵 / MA in English Literature (University of Chicago); MA in Japanese Studies (University of Michigan); Current Writing Instructor. Read about my academic journey here.
Born in Osaka → Sendai → Midwest, United States.
I am interested in the stories we tell ourselves, and others, about ourselves: how we became the people we are now, the events or the people that contributed to our sense of self, the way who we are patterns the choices we make in the present.
Although I try to read a wide range of styles, I tend to gravitate toward works of fiction, particularly novels. However, I am always trying to read beyond my own preferences whether that be genre, tradition, or author, and trying to learn from as many diverse voices as I can. The purpose of reading diversely and reading beyond our own preferences is, for me, about challenging various conceptions of the world and to hopefully become a more open human being.
Because of that focus, the writing you find here will be less like reviews and more like reflections and impressions — sometimes the reflections will be critical. My belief is that criticism can be a truly generative process, as Rebecca Solnit notes:
There is a kind of counter-criticism that seeks to expand the work of art, by connecting it, opening up its meanings, inviting in possibilities. A great work of criticism can liberate a work of art, to be seen fully, to remain alive, to engage in a conversation that will not ever end but will instead keep feeding the imagination. Not against interpretation, but against confinement, against the killing of the spirit. Such criticism is itself great art. — ‘Woolf’s Darkness’
Much of what I write about is centered on Asian-American and Japanese literature, but I also write about whatever book that resonates with me after I finish reading it. I hope some of these reflections pique your interest and lead you to pick up these texts yourself.
*All photos taken by me unless otherwise stated