My Journey into the Past

Sairyusha, a publishing house in Tokyo, Japan, has just put out a collection of my historical essays called Amerika Higashi Kaigan Umoreta Rekishi o Aruku, which translates into English as My Journey into the Past: Stories from North Carolina.

The short title of the book, in Japanese characters, is this:

アメリカ東海岸 埋もれた歴史を歩<

The book was edited and translated into Japanese by historian Hayumi Higuchi, who recently retired from Senshu University in Tokyo. Masashi Watanabe designed the book. Atsuo Takeuchi, Sairyusha’s editor-in-chief, oversaw the project. I have been honored to work with them all.

David Cecelski, Amerika Higashi Kaigan: Umoreta Rekishi o Aruku, translated and edited by Hayumi Higuchi (Tokyo: Sairyusha, 2023).

David Cecelski, Amerika Higashi Kaigan Umoreta Rekishi o Aruku, translated and edited by Hayumi Higuchi (Tokyo: Sairyusha, 2023).

Hayumi Higuchi also wrote the book’s afterword, while I wrote an introduction to the essays. The essays all originally appeared here on my blog, not in an English language book, so this is the first time that they have been published between the covers of a book.

They include the following 10 essays that I published here between 2018 and 2022:

“From Aquascogoc’s Ashes”

“Colington Island: An Outer Banks Fishing Community in the 1930s”

“The Herring Workers”

“The Lost Photographs: Remembering North Carolina’s Fishing Communities in the 1930s and ‘40s”

“All Roads Lead Back to North Carolina”

“My Trouble Here in Wilson”

“A Day in Piney Grove: A Journey into Brunswick County’s Past”

“In the Small Town Where I Grew Up”

“`We Returned Home to our Enemies’: Black Marines and the Struggle for Racial Equality at the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station”

“Jim Grant, In Memory”

Of course, the book’s essays all look closely at moments of history in Eastern North Carolina, the place where I grew up and which has always been the focus of my historical work. I hope that Japanese readers will find something worthwhile in them.

You can order our book here.

8 thoughts on “My Journey into the Past

  1. Dear David, Congratulations on this book! You have! been busy. I am so happy to see your columns again. I was also glad to hear you were able to spend time researching in London this summer and that the hiatus was for a good reason. I am very late in responding. We were in VT from May until early November as tree removal, masonry work on the church, and a new roof on our living space, an addition to the brick church, all happened in the last two weeks. It took us several days after our return to NC to remember we had indoor plumbing and to stop heading for the door each a.m. All told, a wonderful, but costly, adventure, and like our first summer in Maine renovating our old cape there, we attracted lots of visitors, known and unknown, to see the extent (rather overwhelming) of our latest project. But as one guest commented: “You have a good track record.” I wrote that with a big marker on a soon-to-be removed wall to help keep us inspired. My garden was enormously productive there and our community of Perkinsville extremely welcoming. I have returned to my community work here, working with the Eastern Carteret Collaborative and reviving our Friends of the Down East Library group post-Covid. (Also focusing on serious down sizing and painting the house.) We figure we will be here another winter. Btw: If you have any time to read fiction, I highly recommend Jeffrey Lent. In the Fall is his first, of six books, so far. He is a Vermonter who lived for some time in NC where his first book begins, set after the end of the Civil War. He is one of the finest contemporary writers I have read in years. He is working on his next novel. It’s good to hear your voice again. Best, Susan

    Susan DeWitt Wilder 207.730.0574 Davis, NC

    Liked by 1 person

  2. David, LOUD CHEERS for the Japanese translation and publication of so many of your fabulous essays! Your work is transcendent indeed.


  3. Congratulations, David. It must be exciting to see your stories translated into a foreign language. Who would have guessed that a Japanese audience would be interested in early rural NC, but then again, you’re a fantastic writer who renders mundane information into a good read? Again, congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

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