Dream of the Water Children
Born to an African American father and Japanese mother, Frederick D. Kakinami Cloyd, the narrator of Dream of the Water Children, finds himself not only to be a marginalized person by virtue of his heritage, but often a cultural drifter, as well. Indeed, both his family and his society treat him as if he doesn’t entirely belong to any world. Tautly written in spare, clear poetic prose, this memoir explores the specific contours of Japanese and African American cultures, as well as the broader experience of biracial and multicultural identity. To tell his story, Cloyd incorporates photographs and Japanese writing, history, and memory to convey both rich personal experience and significant historical detail. Bringing together vivid memories with a perceptive cultural eye, Dream of the Water Children brings readers closer to a biracial experience, opening up our understanding of the cultural richness and social challenges people from diverse backgrounds face.