MariNaomi, author of Turning Japanese

Event date: 
Friday, June 17, 2016 - 7:00pm

A Room of One's Own proudly welcomes acclaimed indie graphic memoirist MariNaomi for a reading and signing from her latest memoir, Turning Japanese!

Turning Japanese is an illustrated memoir that chronicles MariNaomi's experiences working in illegal hostess bars in San Jose and Tokyo while attempting to connect with a culture that had eluded her since childhood. The story begins in 1995 (where Mari's first memoir, Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, left off), when 22-year-old Mari had just gotten out of a long-term relationship. She moved to San Jose, California, where she was exposed to a wider Asian population than she'd ever known in her hometown of Mill Valley.

It didn't take her much time to fall in love with a new person. Soon after, she found employment at a hostess bar for Japanese expats, where she was determined to learn the Japanese language and culture. This all in the hopes of finally connecting with her Japanese relatives without the use of her mother as a translator. Turning Japanese is a story about otherness, culture clashes, generation gaps and youthful impetuosity.

MariNaomi has been making memoir comics since 1997. She's the author and illustrator of the SPACE Prize-winning Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22, the Eisner-nominated Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories, Turning Japanese, and I Thought You Hated Me (forthcoming 2016), and her self-published Estrus Comics (1998 to 2009). Her work has appeared in over sixty print publications, and has been featured on numerous websites, such as The Rumpus, The Weeklings, LA Review of Books, Midnight Breakfast, Truth-out, XOJane, Buzzfeed, PEN America and more. Mari's work on The Rumpus won a SPACE Prize and an honorable mention in Houghton Mifflin's Best American Comics 2013.

MariNaomi's comics and paintings have been featured in such institutions as the De Young Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco's Asian American Museum, and the Japanese American Museums in Los Angeles and San Jose. In 2011, Mari toured with the literary roadshow Sister Spit. She is the creator and curator of the Cartoonists of Color Database and the Queer Cartoonists Database. You can find out more about MariNaomi's work at

Event address: 
315 W. Gorham St.
Madison, WI 53703-2218
Turning Japanese Cover Image
ISBN: 9781937541163
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: 2dcloud - May 24th, 2016

Dragon's Breath: And Other True Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781941250013
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Uncivilized Books - September 30th, 2014

Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22 Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780062009234
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Harper Perennial - March 15th, 2011