A Most Anticipated Book by Poets & Writers • The Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle • Los Angeles Times • The Millions • Library Journal • Book Riot • Debutiful • and many more!
In the groundbreaking tradition of In the Dream House and The Collected Schizophrenias, a gorgeously illustrated speculative memoir that draws upon the Japanese myth of the Hyakki Yagyo—the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons—to shift the cultural narrative around mental illness, grief, and remembrance.
“Jami Nakamura Lin has reinvented the genre of memoir. . . . Serpentine, polyphonic, and stunningly textured, The Night Parade positively pulses with life." — Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, award-winning author of The Fact of a Body
Are these the only two stories? The one, where you defeat your monster, and the other, where you succumb to it?
Jami Nakamura Lin spent much of her life feeling monstrous for reasons outside of her control. As a young woman with undiagnosed bipolar disorder, much of her adolescence was marked by periods of extreme rage and an array of psychiatric treatments, and her relationships suffered as a result, especially as her father’s cancer grasped hold of their family.
As she grew older and learned to better manage her episodes, Lin became frustrated with the familiar pattern she found in mental illness and grief narratives, and their focus on recovery. She sought comfort in the stories she’d loved as a child—tales of ghostly creatures known to terrify in the night. Through the lens of the yokai and other figures from Japanese, Taiwanese, and Okinawan legend, she set out to interrogate the very notion of recovery and the myriad ways fear of difference shapes who we are as a people.
Featuring stunning illustrations by her sister, Cori Nakamura Lin, and divided into the four acts of a traditional Japanese narrative structure, The Night Parade is a genre-bending and deeply emotional memoir that mirrors the sensation of being caught between realms. Braiding her experience of mental illness, the death of her father, the grieving process, and other haunted topics with storytelling tradition, Jami Nakamura Lin shines a light into dark corners, driven by a question: How do we learn to live with the things that haunt us?
Jami Nakamura Lin is a Japanese Taiwanese Okinawan American writer, whose work has been featured in the New York Times, Catapult, and Electric Literature, among other publications. She has received fellowships and support from the National Endowment for the Arts/Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, Yaddo, Sustainable Arts Foundation, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, We Need Diverse Books, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. She received her MFA in nonfiction from Pennsylvania State University and lives in the Chicago area. www.jaminakamuralin.com
“The Night Parade is both an entirely new perspective on bipolar disorder and a fascinating education in mythology by an expert who so clearly loves the material. It might be Lin’s first book, but it possesses the self-assurance, courage, and mastery of a seasoned writer.” — Vulture, “Best Memoirs of the Year”
“Part personal narrative, part mythical taxonomy, The Night Parade intertwines Nakamura Lin’s lifelong experience of bipolar disorder with figures from Japanese and Taiwanese myth, resulting in a moody, unusual, and compassionate portrait of a struggle too often reduced to cliché in stories about mental illness.” — Boston Globe
“In an extraordinary exploration of life in all its stages, debut memoirist Jami Nakamura Lin turns to the monsters of Japanese and Taiwanese folklore to better understand her own mental illness, the death of her father and the birth of her child. Featuring illustrations of these fantastical beasts by the author’s sister Cori Nakamura Lin, this book is an ‘abundant feast for our living and our dead,’ according to local author K-Ming Chang.” — San Francisco Chronicle, A “Highly Anticipated Book to Put on Your Radar”
“This genre-bending and emotionally resonant memoir offers a masterfully braided narrative of Lin’s experience with mental illness, the death of her father, the grieving process, and Japanese, Taiwanese, and Okinawan legends to interrogate the very notion of recovery. The result is a deeply textured portrait of the experiences that haunt us and the ways in which we can begin to feel whole again.” — Chicago Review of Books
“Lin’s braiding of personal experience and cultural touchstones make this memoir very special.” — Los Angeles Times
“Both heart-wrenching and heart-filling. . . It’s breathtaking to read the way [Jami Nakamura Lin] skillfully utilizes the Hyakki Yagyo—a procession of supernatural oni and yokai in Japanese folklore and mythology—to recontextualize and reconsider narratives of grief, mental illness, and memory-making. This is a book to keep at your bedside.” — Conde Nast Traveler
“[A] gorgeous and unique debut memoir. . . A memorable and moving exorcism of the monsters within." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Gorgeous writing . . . richly illustrated . . . An engrossing memoir by an extraordinary debut author." — Library Journal (starred review)
“Throughout this inventive narrative, Lin takes calculated literary risks, ranging from the use of epistolary forms to experiments with point of view. These risks pay off mightily, coming together in a vulnerable, insightful, and refreshingly original meditation on survival, illness, and grief. A stunning memoir about the stories that make us who we are.” — Kirkus (starred review)
“Beautiful and bizarre. . . explode[s] conventional narratives of mental illness and grief. . . weaves together fable and memory, research and family history with elegance and honesty to create a singular record of family, diaspora, art, and belonging.” — Kathleen Rooney, Chicago Magazine
“Inventive. . . Jami Nakamura Lin weaves together threads of memoir and Japanese and Taiwanese mythology to create a gorgeous mosaic of family, grief, illness, inheritance, and love.” — Shondaland
“Based on a traditional Japanese narrative structure, this riveting speculative memoir by Jami Nakamura Lin is accompanied by the luminous illustrations of her sister, Cori. Grappling with themes of family, neurodivergence, illness and identity, Nakamura Lin presents a nuanced, raw and poetic redefinition of memoir.” — Ms. magazine
"Jami Nakamura Lin has reinvented the genre of memoir, weaving an intricate braid of fable, memory, art, cultural legacy, and legend into a gorgeous tapestry of the stories that made her. The haunting illustrations by her sister, Cori Nakamura Lin, are a potent reminder that no one is self-authored. We all collaborate to become ourselves. Serpentine, polyphonic, and stunningly textured, The Night Parade positively pulses with life." — Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, award-winning author of The Fact of A Body
"A gorgeous invocation of the magic-haunted spaces between lived experience and folkloric traditions, between the living and the dead, between memory and story. I loved The Night Parade." — Kelly Link, bestselling author of Get in Trouble
“Beautifully written and imaginative, The Night Parade takes speculative nonfiction to new heights. Jami Nakamura Lin is both poet and storyteller, mystic and philosopher, teaching us to see the world differently, to suspend our disbelief, using mythology to interrogate our notions of family, grief, fear, love, and belonging. There is no other book like this—it’s truly a stunning and visionary work of art.” — Jaquira Díaz, award-winning author of Ordinary Girls: A Memoir
"In this debut speculative memoir, Lin isn’t afraid of her demons. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a teenager, Lin struggled to manage her illness while caring for her cancer-stricken father. Unhappy with the rose-colored narratives about recovering from mental illness, she takes a different approach here, leaning into the darkness. Inspired by Japanese, Taiwanese, and Okinawan ghost stories, Lin blends memoir and horror—plus stunning illustrations—to consider what it means to coexist with anguish." — The Millions (The Great 2023 Book Preview)
“Genre-defying and deeply poetic, The Night Parade invites the pandemonium within the personal and mythic to a round table where ancestors and folkloric creatures transform grief, memory, and mental illness into the tangible. Impossible to put down, gut-wrenching, and magical. I cannot think of a writer who has written so personally while acknowledging ancestral and cultural grief with such grace and honesty. A crucial and groundbreaking entry for the literature of the Asian Diaspora and explorations of mental illness.” — Sequoia Nagamatsu, bestselling author of How High We Go in the Dark
"The Night Parade is a stunning excavation of personal and collective histories, filled with the endless alchemy of storytelling. Jami Nakamura Lin writes with meditative precision and expansive empathy, challenging and reaffirming what communal stories can make possible. Exploring the many worlds that flourish beyond certain knowledge, this boundary-blurring memoir finds power in the undefinable. It reveals to us that the fracturing of a story can be beautifully fruitful. Teeming with language that is transformative and fully embodied, and gorgeously illustrated by Cori Nakamura Lin, The Night Parade is a generous and abundant feast for our living and our dead, our salvaged lineages and our continuing stories." — K-Ming Chang, award-winning author of Bestiary
“With abundant honesty and tenderness, Jami Nakamura Lin wraps her story in the expansive frameworks of folklore and the mystical, bringing in centuries of storytelling about love and loss, death, illness, and mystery. A moving and notable memoir." — Aimee Bender, New York Times bestselling author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
“The Night Parade is stunning — it is haunting and magical and terrifying at once. Deeply intimate, but with a sense of scope that transcends history and genre, I loved stepping into this dream of a memoir, of a shared experience.” — Catherine Cho, author of Inferno