Monday, March 11, 2013

Gretel Ehrlich in the Times Union

Elizabeth Floyd Mair, who will introduce Gretel Ehrlich at her Writers Institute events tomorrow, 3/12, interviews Ehrlich for the Times Union.

Like Ehrlich, Elizabeth Floyd Mair spent long periods of time in Japan and is an avid reader of Japanese literature.

Q: When you went to Japan after the tsunami, how much of a plan did you have?

A: I never really have an agenda. I just knew I wanted to talk to people who had "faced the wave." I wanted to talk to fishermen, I wanted to talk to rice farmers, I wanted to talk to Buddhist priests and Shinto priests whose temples had become unofficial evacuation centers and morgues. I wanted to see how the people there worked together or not to survive, and take the temperature of the survivors.

I think you have to go with, as the Buddhists say, a "truly opened eye" — an open heart — and let the place tell you where to go. A lot of it is just you happen onto things.

Read more:

More about Ehrlich's visit: