This book of conversations between Margaret R. Miles and Hiroko Sakomura compares the experiences of two women who grew up in different societies, with different educations, different professions, and different religious orientations. Reflecting on the different ways in which Japanese and American societies inhibited and enabled them, these two women share their struggles, difficulties, and achievements. All of this is set in the context of one of the most radical social movements in the history of the world, as women are gaining increments of equality with men in designing and administering the institutions of public life with opportunities, dangers, and rewards. This is a moment in which a critical mass of women “want it all now”, in the best sense of the phrase, seeking to preserve and reinterpret traditional values while exercising their capabilities and skills both in the home and in public life. This book is the memoir of two women’s painful and joyful experiences in “getting here from there”.
Part I: From There
1. Growing Up
Part II: Strategies
5. Images and Models
7. Critique and Self-Criticism
9. Energy and Power
10. Pleasure and Happiness
Part III: To Here
11. Professional Life
13. Society and Public Life
Sources for Quotations
Endorsements and Reviews
Getting Here from There affords the reader a rare opportunity to listen in on a dialogue between two women who took risks in daily life and with ideas, and who invented themselves as highly accomplished professionals. Across differences of culture, age, and vocation, Miles and Sakomura create a common ground for exploring shared values and life concerns. Their wisdom, erudition, and straight-up common sense are a profound inspiration to all of us to seek the lives we envision.
Deborah J. Haynes, University of Colorado-Boulder
Margaret R. Miles and Hiroko Sakomura draw out the best in one another despite their significant differences. Their lives as professor and producer, American and Japanese, Christian and Buddhist are rich sources of well-distilled wisdom. Their shared commitments to families and selves, to work and pleasure, to substance and style, make them ideal discussion partners. How fortuitous that they found one another and how lucky for readers that they chose to share their conversations widely.
Mary E. Hunt, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER)
This is a book of memoirs which stretches the boundaries of the genre as it compares and contrasts their different experiences of life and work.
The Revd Penny Seabrook, in Church Times, March 2013