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Erika Hayasaki


Erika Hayasaki

Erika Hayasaki is a journalist based in Southern California, the author of THE DEATH CLASS, and a professor in the Literary Journalism Department at the University of California, Irvine. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Wired, Slate and others. She has been a 2021-22 Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellow and a 2018 Alicia Patterson Fellow and received awards from the Association of Sunday Feature Editors, the Society for Features Journalism, and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. She is the mother of a daughter and twin boys (who are monozygotic, or identical --- but not).

Erika Hayasaki

Books by Erika Hayasaki

by Erika Hayasaki - Biography, Nonfiction

It was 1998 in Nha Trang, Vietnam, and Liên struggled to care for her newborn twin girls. Hà was taken in by Liên’s sister, and she grew up in a rural village with her aunt. Hà’s twin sister, Loan, was adopted by a wealthy, white American family who renamed her Isabella. Isabella grew up in the suburbs of Chicago with a nonbiological sister, Olivia, also adopted from Vietnam, and they attended a predominantly white Catholic school. But when Isabella’s adoptive mother learned of her biological twin back in Vietnam, all of their lives changed forever. Erika Hayasaki spent years and hundreds of hours interviewing each of the birth and adoptive family members. She brings the girls’ experiences to life on the page, challenging conceptions about adoption and what it means to give a child a good life.

by Erika Hayasaki - Inspirational, Nonfiction, Personal Growth, Psychology

When nurse Norma Bowe decided to teach a course on death at a college in New Jersey, she never expected it to be popular. But year after year students crowd into her classroom, and the reason is clear: Norma’s “death class” is really about how to make the most of what poet Mary Oliver famously called our “one wild and precious life.” By following her over four years, Erika Hayasaki shows how Norma steers four extraordinary students from their tormented families and neighborhoods toward happiness.