Sara Backer

My blogs

About me

Occupation Writer, Teacher, and Lots of Miscellaneous
Location New England
Introduction Most Americans who move to Japan are already in love with their idea of Japan. My feelings were neutral. I had a fresh graduate degree and jobs for English majors were scarce. I was lucky to get a prestigious Visiting Professorship at a national Japanese university and I was up for adventure. I didn't know I would be the first woman and the first American to hold that job. I was in for more groundbreaking than I imagined, but while Japan's invisible expectations were stressful, my students made my job the most fulfilling one I've had. I wanted to show aspects of Japan I hadn't found in books written by men (who experience an entirely different culture), but I didn't want to add to the cliche genre of personal memoir about gaijin in Asia. Fiction was the way I could show the humor and charm of a country that seems crazy and frustrating to a Western ex-pat. This blog explains how my actual experience informed my novel.