THE NIGHT PARADE
October 24, 2023
Available for pre-order from Bookshop, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-million, or your local indie bookstore.
A gorgeously illustrated speculative memoir that draws upon the Japanese yokai myth of the Hyakki Yagyo—the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons—to shift the cultural narrative around mental illness, grief, and remembrance.
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 grew 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?
“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 and illness and mystery. What a moving and notable memoir emerges when these elements are mixed so gracefully together.”
-Aimee Bender, bestselling author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
“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
“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
“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… 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
“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
“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
All illustrations on this website by Cori Nakamura Lin. Author photo by Ananda Lima.