QUESTIONS AND TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION
At the turn of 20th century, Yamamoto Kiyoki is a Japanese art student, dreaming of studying in Paris with the inspiring and vibrant Impressionist painters. Yamamoto Ryusei is Kiyoki’s father. Ryusei’s art, carving intricate masks for traditional Japanese theater, has been his refuge from loneliness since the death of his beloved wife, and he is revered as the most inspired artist of his kind. He expects his only son to honor the traditions of his family and his country, not to be seduced by Western ideas of what is beautiful. Ryusei hopes Kiyoki will follow his own distinguished career, but Kiyoki struggles under the weight of his duty to his father to fulfill his own destiny and travel West.
ABOUT ALYSON RICHMAN
Alyson Richman is the author of The Lost Wife, The Mask Carver’s Son, The Rhythm of Memory, and The Last Van Gogh. She lives in Long Island with her husband and two children.