The Outsider: The Life and Work of Lafcadio Hearn (9784805317600)

Current Stock:
Tuttle Publishing
Hardcover, Jacketed
Date Published:
Includes 33 color and b&w photos illustrating topics and places important in Hearn's life
Number of Pages:
Trim Size:
5 1/8 X 8

Step into the extraordinary life of the man who made an impact as an observer wherever he lived, and went on to become the leading western interpreter of Japan and Japanese culture—a position he still occupies today.

Born in Greece and abandoned as a child, Lafcadio Hearn lived the life of an exile. He travelled the world and became a famous writer but always felt like an outsider—in Dublin, London, Cincinnati, New Orleans, and French-speaking Martinique. To him, none of these places felt like home.

Hearn's life in America was punctuated by a string of successes and failures. In Cincinnati he became the city's best-known crime reporter but was fired after marrying a black woman. Devastated, he moved to New Orleans, where he championed French Creole and Caribbean culture and created the city's image as a place of voodoo and debauchery (the image which many Americans still hold today).

Hearn arrived in Japan at a time of historic change. Sent there as a correspondent, he soon found himself alone and jobless. He settled in the remote town of Matsue, firmly believing that Japan would provide him with an endless supply of rich writing material—perhaps enough to last a lifetime.

Over the next dozen years, Hearn published 15 books which were lauded by the likes of Mark Twain, William Butler Yeats, Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin. Hearn's books made him famous as the leading writer on Japan and Japanese culture.

Discover the fascinating journey of Hearn's life and the series of events—from peaks to pitfalls—that shaped his remarkable story, including:
  • His troubled childhood and emigration to America with no job or money
  • His career as a popular newspaper writer and essayist in Cincinnati and New Orleans
  • His life in Japan where he became a Buddhist, married the daughter of a Samurai and took the Japanese name Yakumo Koizumi
  • Hearn's worldwide fame as a writer, especially for his works on ghosts, demons, monsters and the supernatural world of Japanese folklore

Author Steve Kemme is president of the Lafcadio Hearn Society/USA and a leading expert on Hearn's life and writings. This book includes a foreword by Bon Koizumi, Hearn's great-grandson and director of the Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum in Matsue, Japan, along with 30 images which portray the pivotal people and places in Hearn's amazing life.

About the Author:
Steve Kemme is president of the Lafcadio Hearn Society/USA and a former reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer, where Hearn formerly worked. He is a member of the Japan Research Center of Greater Cincinnati and has spoken at Hearn symposiums worldwide.

Bon Koizumi is Lafcadio Hearn's great-grandson. He is a professor at the University of Shimane Junior College and director of the Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum in Matsue, which is housed in Hearn's first home in Japan.