Meet Susan Kiyo Ito, Author of I Would Meet You Anywhere

Join San Mateo County Libraries on Tuesday, April 2, at 6:30 PM, opens a new window for a virtual talk with Susan Kiyo Ito, author of I Would Meet You Anywhere. We’ll be discussing the deep insights and compassion behind her riveting memoir about family, belonging and Japanese American history.

Free, signed copies of I Would Meet You Anywhere are available at your nearest San Mateo County Libraries location, opens a new window on a first come, first served basis while supplies last. Be sure to pick one up or borrow a copy from our collection.

A Library Journal Best Memoir of 2023

Growing up with adoptive nisei (second generation Japanese American) parents, Susan Kiyo Ito knew only that her birth mother was Japanese American and her father was white. Finding and meeting her birth mother in her early twenties was only the beginning of her search for answers, history and identity. Though the two share a physical likeness, an affinity for ice cream and a relationship that sometimes even feels familial, there is an ever-present tension between them, as a decades long tug-of-war pits her birth mother’s desire for anonymity against Ito’s need to know her origins, to see and be seen.

Along the way, Ito grapples with her own reproductive choices, the legacy of the Japanese American incarceration experience during World War II and the true meaning of family. An account of love, what it’s like to feel neither here nor there and one writer’s quest for the missing pieces that might make her feel whole, I Would Meet You Anywhere is the stirring culmination of Ito’s decision to embrace her right to know and tell her own story.

What Authors Say about I Would Meet You Anywhere

I Would Meet You Anywhere is the poignant memoir of author Susan Ito’s search for her birth parents. Biracial, and of half-Japanese linage, Ito’s story opens the door to that of Japanese-American adoptions with insight and understanding into the complexities of family, identity, and choice. A rich and compelling read.” —Gail Tsukiyama, author of The Color of Air and The Brightest Star

“In the intimate pages of I Would Meet You Anywhere, Ito yearns to learn of her parentage within the confounding context of closed adoption. As Ito plots a path to locate and know the birth parent who forsook her, we experience the pain of diminishing the self in order to be seen. An exquisite memoir of mothering and daughtering amid racial and generational differences.” —Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of Real American: A Memoir

“Susan Kiyo Ito is like a surgeon operating on herself. She is delicate, precise, and at times cutting with her words. But it is all in service of her own healing and to encourage us all to be brave enough to do the same in our own stories.” — W. Kamau Bell, author of Do the Work! An Antiracist Activity Book

Get to Know Susan Kiyo Ito

“One of my goals and one of my hopes is that people will find something in this story — even if they haven’t experienced anything in common — that they’ll still feel it as human,” —Susan Kiyo Ito for Datebook, opens a new window

Susan Kiyo Ito began reading at the age of three and writing stories by age six.

She co-edited the literary anthology A Ghost At Heart’s Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption. Her work has appeared in The Writer, Growing Up Asian American, Choice, Hip Mama, Literary Mama, Catapult, Hyphen, The Bellevue Literary Review and elsewhere. She is a MacDowell Fellow and has also been awarded residencies at The Mesa Refuge, Hedgebrook and the Blue Mountain Center. She has performed her solo show, The Ice Cream Gene, around the United States. Her theatrical adaption of Untold Stories: Life, Love, and Reproduction was produced at Brava Theater. She is a member of the Writers’ Grotto, opens a new window and teaches at Mills College/Northeastern University and Bay Path University. She was one of the co-organizers of Rooted and Written, a no-fee writing workshop for writers of color. She lives in Northern California.

We hope you join us for this upcoming author talk. In the meantime, you can learn more at Susan Kiyo Ito on her website, opens a new window.