“Pover’s narrative of her Tohoku experiences scales out and out like a Christopher Nolan film, beginning with her first frenzied days handing out supplies to tsunami victims, and then the years that followed as she returned to follow up: a day, a month, a decade. The reader experiences her expanding circle of attention almost in real time – when she first sees Oshika, it is a once-picturesque village in ruins, populated by wary victims and feral children. As she gains the deeper time and perspective to look around her, we get to hear about people’s lives and the long history of the community.
“One Month in Tohoku is that most glorious of prospects: a disaster-movie in reverse, beginning with the awful, grandstanding destruction, and then showing us the village rebuilding, names being put to faces, and storylines unfolding.”
Over at All the Anime, I review Caroline Pover’s memoir of disaster relief in the wake of the 2011 tsunami.