Skip to main menu Skip to content
We are online to support you! Get information on Library resources and services for: Students | Instructors | Researchers. For Ryerson campus information, visit: Ryerson COVID-19 Information and Updates

Hiromi Goto

""

Hiromi Goto was born in Chiba’ken, Japan. Her family moved to British Columbia in 1969 and soon settled in southern Alberta. Goto earned a B.A. in English from the University of Calgary in 1989. Her fiction has been widely anthologized. She was the writer-in-residence at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C. from June 1, 2003-May 31, 2004. Goto is the 2009/2010 Writer in Residence at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

""

Fiction

Chorus of Mushrooms

Edmonton: NeWest, 1994.
PS8563 .O8383 K36 1994

Publisher’s Synopsis

Chorus of Mushrooms explores the collision of cultures within a family between three generations of Japanese Canadian women. At times a Japanese folk legend, at times a love story, Chorus of Mushrooms heralds a major debut in Canadian literature.

Awards and Honours

1995 Commonwealth Book Prize — Best First Novel –Canada and Caribbean Region (Winner)
1995 Georges Bugnet Award for Novel-Alberta Literary Awards (Writers’ Guild of Alberta)(Finalist)
1996 Canada-Japan Literary Award –Fiction (Winner)

""

Fiction (Juvenile)

Darkest Light

Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki.
Toronto: Penguin, 2012.
PS8563 .O838 D37 2012

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

The recently reunited realms of the Flesh, Half World and the Spirit are again at risk—something has been left undone. Gee, adopted as an infant, has been kept ignorant of his troubled past. Now at sixteen, he is a loner both despised and feared by his classmates. dark feelings, unbidden, slowly grow inside him. Even as he struggles to control them, his past catches up with him and compels him to journey to Half World. Abandoning his adoptive grandmother and the place he has called home, Gee must face what he used to be in order to determine his fate and the fate of the Three Realms. Aided by a surly cat and a troubled newfound friend, Gee must fight the monstrous and the horrific in Half World. Most difficult of all, he must overcome his own propensity for evil.

""

Fiction (Juvenile)

Half World

Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki.
Toronto: Puffin Canada, 2009.
PS8563 .O838 H35 2009

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Unpopular and impoverished, [Melanie Tamaki] is the only child of a loving but neglectful mother. She barely copes with surviving school and life. But everything changes on the day she returns home to find her mother is missing, lured back to Half World by a vile creature calling himself Mr. Glueskin. Soon Melanie embarks on an epic and darkly fantastical journey to Half World to save her mother. What she does not yet realize is that the state of the universe is at stake….

Awards and Honours

2010 White Pine Award — Ontario Library Association (nominated)

""

Fiction (Short stories)

Hopeful Monsters: Stories

Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004.
PS8563 .O8383 H66 2004

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

The title of Hopeful Monsters refers to genetically abnormal organisms that naturally adapt to their environments. In Hiromi Goto’s quietly devastating stories, the hopeful monsters in question are women confounded by familial duty and the ghosts of their past.

""

Fiction

The Kappa Child

Calgary: Red Deer Press, 2001.
PS8563 .O8383 C56 1994

Publisher’s Synopsis

… [F]our Japanese-Canadian sisters struggle to escape the bonds of a family and landscape as inhospitable as the sweltering prairie heat. …
The Kappa Child is a transformative tour de force, a raucous romp that includes an immaculate conception, abductions by aliens and intimate encounters with cucumbers. It is about hunger and thirst, about the terrible compromises of hope and its banishment, and about traces of humor that enable even the drought stricken to feel the sweet rain of forgiveness and love.

Awards and Honours

2001 James Tiptree Jr. Award (Winner)
2002 Spectrum Awards –Best Novel (Nominated)
2002 Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic (Nominated)

Fiction (Graphic novel)

Shadow Life

Illustrated by Ann Xu.
New York: First Second Books, 2021.

Publisher’s Synopsis

When Kumiko’s well-meaning adult daughters place her in an assisted living home, the seventy-six-year-old widow gives it a try, but it’s not where she wants to be. She goes on the lam and finds a cozy bachelor apartment, keeping the location secret even while communicating online with her eldest daughter. Kumiko revels in the small, daily pleasures: decorating as she pleases, eating what she wants, and swimming in the community pool. But something has followed her from her former residence―Death’s shadow.

Kumiko’s sweet life is shattered when Death’s shadow swoops in to collect her. With her quick mind and sense of humor, Kumiko, with the help of friends new and old, is prepared for the fight of her life. But how long can an old woman thwart fate?

""

Fiction (Juvenile)

The Water of Possibility

Illustrated by Aries Cheung.
Regina, Sask.: Coteau Books, 2001.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

The last thing twelve-year-old Sayuri wants to do is move to the country, on “a trip to eternal boredom.” Sayuri loves her life in the city and her achievements as a competitive swimmer. But her father, a nurse, has found a job in rural Alberta. Sayuri is also not impressed by the dilapidated old house they rent. But one day she and her little brother Keiji explore the dark root cellar and are transported to Middle World, a woodland full of figures from Japanese folklore …

Awards and Honours

2001 Our Choice, Canadian Children’s Book Centre Selection

""

Anthology (Short story)

Eye Wuz Here: Stories by Women Writers Under Thirty

PS8235 .W4 E93 1996

Goto, Hiromi. “Canadian Culture 201.” In Eye Wuz Here, edited by Shannon Cooley. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1996, 77-86.

Anthology (Non-fiction)

The Heart Does Break: Writers on Grief and Mourning

PS8237 .G84 H43 2010

Goto, Hiromi. “Without Words.” In The Heart Does Break: Writers on Grief and Mourning, edited by George Bowering and Jean Baird. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2010. (First published by Random House Canada, 2009.)

Anthology (Non-fiction)

Literary Pluralities

PS8027 .L57 1998

Goto, Hiromi. “Alien Texts, Alien Seductions: The Context of Colour Full Writing.” In Literary Pluralities, edited by Christl Verduyn. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press, 1998, 263-269.

Anthology

First Chapter: The Canadian Writers Photography Project

TR681 .A85 D46 2001

Denton, Don, and Hiromi Goto. “Hiromi Goto.” In Denton, Don. First Chapter: The Canadian Writers Photography Project. Banff, AB: Banff Centre Press, 2001, 38-39.

Anthology

Reading Writers Reading: Canadian Authors’ Reflections

Z1039 .A87 R43 2006

Goto, Hiromi. “Learning to Read.” In Reading Writers Reading: Canadian Authors’ Reflections. Danielle Schaub, photographer and ed. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2006, 24-25.

""

Poetry

Wait Until Late Afternoon, or, Distilled, Decanted & Debauched: A Collaborative Long Poem

Co-author: David Bateman.
Calgary: Frontenac House, 2009.
PS8553 .A8254 W35 2009

Selected Criticism and Interpretation

Beauregard, Guy Pierre. “Asian Canadian Literature: Diasporic Interventions in the Work of SKY Lee, Joy Kogawa, Hiromi Goto, and Fred Wah.” Ph.D. diss., University of Alberta, 2000.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses
Available as an open access dissertation

Cavon, Aaron F. L. “Nations Within Nation: An Intercultural Reckoning of Interior National Diversity in the Canadian Novels “Chorus of Mushrooms” and “In Another Place, Not Here”.” M.A. diss., Dalhousie University, 1998.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Chen, Mei-Chen. “Writing the Body: Performativity and Possibility in Hiromi Goto’s Work.” Master’s thesis, National Sun Yat-sen University, 2013.
Available as an open access thesis from the NSYSU

Chivers, Sally Jane. “The Literary Potential of Old Age in Simone de Beauvoir, “The Stone Angel”, and New Canadian Narratives.” Ph.D. diss., McGill University, 2000.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Cuder-Dominguez, Pilar. “The Politics of Gender and Genre in Asian Canadian Women’s Speculative Fiction: Hiromi Goto and Larissa Lai.” Chap. in Asian Canadian Writing Beyond Autoethnography, eds. Eleanor Ty and Christl Verduyn. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2008,  115-132.
PS8089.5 .A8 A84 2008

Fehr, Joy Anne. “(Re)Writing Alberta.” Ph.D. diss., University of Calgary, 2005.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Gantzert, Patricia Louise. “Throwing Voices: Dialogism in the Novels of Three Contemporary Canadian Women Writers.” M.A. diss., University of Manitoba, 1997.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Khoo, Jun Ling. “”I Am Canadian”? Canadian Immigration Narratives.” Ph.D. diss., University of Western Ontario, 2002.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Lai, Larissa.  “Future Orientations, Non-dialectical Monsters: Storytelling Queer Utopias in Hiromi Goto’s Chorus of Mushrooms and The Kappa Child.”  Chap. in her Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s.  Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2014, 135-159.
PS8573 .A373 L33 2014

Lai, Larissa. “The “I” of the Storm: Practice, Subjectivity and Time Zones in Asian Canadian Writing.” Ph.D. diss., University of Calgary, 2006.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Lee, Tara. “Promising Transnational Births: The Womb and Cyborg Poetics in Asian Canadian Literature.” Ph.D. diss., Simon Fraser University, 2006.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Lee-Loy, Anne-Marie. “Asian American Mothering in the Absence of Talk Story: Obasan and Chorus of Mushrooms.” Chap. in Textual Mothers/Maternal Texts: Motherhood in Contemporary Women’s Literatures, eds. Elizabeth Podnieks and Andrea O’Reilly. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2010, 317-331.
PS8089.5 .W6 T45 2009

Liban, Mark Ira. “Commencement Exercises: Toward Beginnings in English Canadian Literature.” Ph.D. diss., University of Manitoba, 1999.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Luo, Shao-Pin, “Translation and Transformation in Chorus of Mushrooms and When Fox is a Thousand.” In Asian Women: Interconnections, eds. Tineke Hellwig and Sunera Thobani. Toronto: Women’s Press, 2006, 115-138.
HQ1726.A834 2006

Miki, Roy. “Can Asian Adian?: Reading Some Signs of Asian Canadians.” Chap. in his In Flux: Transnational Shifts in Asian Canadian Writing. Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2011, 91-115.
PS8089.5 .A8 M55 2011

Morris, Robyn. “Looking Through the Twin Lens of Race and Gender: A New Politics of Surveillance in Asian Australian and Asian Canadian Women’s Writing.” Ph.D. diss., University of Wollongong, 2008.
Available as an open access dissertation from The University of Wollongong.

Moyer, Alexia. “Literary Meals in Canada: The Food/books of Austin Clarke, Hiromi Goto, Tessa McWatt and Fred Wah.” Ph.D. diss., Université de Montréal, 2012.
Available as an open access dissertation from L’Université de Montréal

Paulson, Elan Nicole. “Monstrous Textual and Self-adaptation in Contemporary Women’s Fiction.” Ph.D. diss., University of Western Ontario, 2010.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Souza, Gabriela Cavalcante Fróes de. “Obasan, Obāchan: Japanese Canadian History, Memory, and the Noisy Silences of Joy Kogawa and Hiromi Goto.” Master’s thesis, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, 2007.
Available as an open access thesis from the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro

Sturgess, Charlotte.  “Questions of Voice, Race, and the Body in Hiromi Goto’s Chorus of Mushrooms and Larissa Lai’s When Fox is a Thousand.”  Chap. in Crosstalk: Canadian and Global Imaginaries in Dialogue, eds. Diana Brydon and Marta Dvorák.  Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012, 185-195.
PS8057.1 .C76 2012

Ty, Eleanor, “Scripting Fertility: Desire and Regeneration in Japanese North American Literature.” Chap. in Unfastened: Globality and Asian North American Narratives. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010, 108-128.
PS153 .A84 T9 2010 (also available as an e-book)

Ty, Eleanor, “‘Thrumming Songs of Ecstasy’: Female Voices in Hiromi Goto’s Chorus of Mushrooms.” Chap. in The Politics of the Visible in Asian North American Narratives. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004.
PS8089.5 .A8 T9 2004

Werbiski, Anthony Robert. “The Protean Prairie: Examining Identity Constructions in Contemporary Canadian Literature.” Master’s thesis, University of Manitoba, 2013.
Available as an open access thesis from the University of Manitoba

Yamade, Yuko. “Identity, Translation and Embodiment in Migrant and Minority Women’s Writings in Japan, English Canada and Quebec.” Ph.D. diss., Université de Montréal, 2002.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Links

Hiromi Goto personal website

Hiromi Goto page on the journal Canadian Literature’s CanLit Poets project website

Publisher Arsenal Pulp Press

Publisher First Second Books

Publisher Frontenac House

Publisher Penguin Group (Canada)