The Kennedy Center's Book of the Semester is Stranger in the Shogun's City: A Japanese Woman and Her World. This is "a vivid, deeply researched work of history that explores the life of an unconventional woman during the first half of the 19th century in Edo—the city that would become Tokyo—and a portrait of a great city on the brink of a momentous encounter with the West."
Hear more about this book when author Amy Stanley comes to campus to speak as part of our fall 2023 lecture series, "Transforming and Preserving Culture."
The book was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography, winner of the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography. Publisher's Weekly called it "an evocative and deeply researched portrait of 19th-century Japan through the events of one woman’s life in the decades before Commodore Perry’s 1853 arrival and the opening of the country to the West," and The Washington Post calls it "a compelling story, traced with meticulous detail and told with exquisite sympathy."