Artwork for podcast Once Upon A Time...In Adopteeland
96. Erika Hayasaki: "Somewhere Sisters; A Story of Adoption, Identity and the Meaning of Family"
6th December 2022 • Once Upon A Time...In Adopteeland • Jennifer Dyan Ghoston
00:00:00 00:53:51

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Erika Hayasaki is an award winning journalist. In 2016, Hayasaki learned about Isabella and Hà, identical twins who were born in Việt Nam, raised on opposite sides of the world, and reunited as teenagers. Over a period of five years, Hayasaki, a professor in the Literary Journalism Department at the University of California, Irvine, spent hundreds of hours interviewing the sisters and their first and adoptive families, tracing the girls’ diverging childhoods in the suburbs of America and the villages of Việt Nam and following them from their much anticipated yet fraught reunion through the complicated years that followed.

Now, in this richly textured story of sisterhood and coming-of-age, Hayasaki’s SOMEWHERE SISTERS: A Story of Adoption, Identity, and the Meaning of Family (Algonquin Books; October 11, 2022) tells the girls’ incredible story from their perspectives, challenging conceptions about transnational and transracial adoption, Asian and Asian American identity, the nature versus nurture debate, poverty and privilege, and what it means to give a child a good life.

Hayasaki, the author of The Death Class, is a former 2021-22 Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellow and a 2018 Alicia Patterson Fellow. She has received awards from the Association of Sunday Feature Editors, the Society for Features Journalism, and the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Music by Corey Quinn and Invitational by MDT



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