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Outsider: The Life and Work of Lafcadio Hearn, The
Date: 12th October, 2023
Publisher: TUTTLE PUBLISHING
Lafcadio Hearn understands contemporary Japan better, and makes us understand it better than any other writer, because he loves it better.' --Basil Hall Chamberlain. Born in Greece and abandoned as a child, Lafcadio Hearn lived the life of an exile. He travelled the world and became a famous writer but always felt like an outsider--in Dublin, London, Cincinnati, New Orleans, and French-speaking Martinique. To him, none of these places felt like home. Hearn's life in America was punctuated by a string of successes and failures. In Cincinnati he became the city's best-known crime reporter but was fired after marrying a black woman. Devastated, he moved to New Orleans, where he championed French Creole and Caribbean culture in pieces for Harper's and Scribners--and created a new view of the city as a place of voodoo and debauchery (the image which Americans still hold today as a result). Hearn arrived in Japan at a time of historic change. Sent there as a correspondent for Harper's, his commission was soon terminated over a dispute about pay. Alone and jobless, he settled in Matsue, firmly believing that Japan would provide him with an endless supply of rich writing material--perhaps enough to last a lifetime. And he was right! Over a period of 14 years, Hearn wrote 15 books which were lauded by the likes of Mark Twain, William Butler Yeats, Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin. Hearn's books on Japan made him famous as the best writer on Japan and Japanese culture--a position he still occupies today. This book recounts all the colorful episodes in Hearn's life including: A troubled childhood in Greece and Ireland and his emigration to America without a job or money His career as a popular newspaper writer and essayist in Cincinnati and New Orleans where he found great success but was never fully accepted His journey to Japan where he became a Buddhist, married the daughter of a Samurai and took the Japanese name Yakumo Koizumi Hearn's worldwide fame as a writer, especially for his essays and books on ghosts, demons, monsters and the supernatural world of Japanese folklore Author Steve Kemme is president of the Lafcadio Hearn Society/USA and a leading expert on Hearn's life and writings. This book includes a foreword by Bon Koizumi, Hearn's great-grandson and director of the Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum in Matsue, Japan, along with 30 family images which portray the people and places in Hearn's amazing life story.