Paul Brinkley-Rogers is a Pulitzer Prize–winning author best known for his journalism as a war correspondent. Now retired, he has written a more personal story, one that he waited a half century to tell. At 19, as a sailor aboard the USS Shangri-La, stationed in Japan shortly after the United States had dropped its nuclear bombs, he met Kaji Yukiko, a Japanese woman 10 years his senior. With her, he saw firsthand the complexity of the effects of the war as well as the complexity of a redemptive love without a happy ending. This poignant memoir bridges time, culture, and distance. This quiet and vivid memoir is one of the best I have read in years.
At the tender age of 19, Paul Brinkley-Rogers met Kaji Yukiko while stationed in post–World War II Yokosuka, Japan. At the time, he had no idea how his relationship with this enigmatic woman, this lover of poetry and the arts, this complicated orphan of a war-ravaged country, would impress itself upon his life, but now at 75, he returns to her letters and that time encapsulated and pens a love letter of his own: this beautiful, intimate, immediate book.
“The most romantic memoir you’re likely to read in a lifetime.” —Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author of Here’s to Us
An evocative memoir. A beautiful journey to half a century and half a world away. An ageless love story.
Pulitzer Prize–winning war correspondent Paul Brinkley‑Rogers has lived an adventurous life all over the world. But there is one story he cannot forget: that of his haunting love affair with a mysterious older Japanese woman in 1959. Paul was a sailor aboard the USS Shangri‑La that long‑ago summer when he met Kaji Yukiko in the seaport of Yokosuka. A fierce intellectual, Yukiko shared her astonishing knowledge of literature, film, and poetry with Paul and encouraged, even demanded, that he use his gifts to become the writer he is today.
But theirs was not a quiet love story. When a member of the yakuza, Japan’s brutal crime syndicate, attempted to kidnap Yukiko, Paul realized that there was much more to her—and to Japan in the devastating wake of World War II—than he saw at first glance. Through the searing letters that Yukiko wrote to him and Paul’s vivid telling of a history made all the more powerful and poignant by the weight of time, Please Enjoy Your Happiness reaches across decades and continents, inviting us all to revisit those loves of our lives that never do end.
About the Author
Paul Brinkley-Rogers is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and veteran war correspondent. For many years he worked in Asia as a staff member of Newsweek, covering the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia, the death of Chairman Mao, and Japan's economic miracle. He also reported from Latin America for The Miami Herald, sharing the Pulitzer Prize with a reporting team in 2001 for coverage of the Elian Gonzalez custody battle. He is the author of Please Enjoy Your Happiness, a memoir. Now retired, he lives in Arizona.
“A rare and beautiful love story…As startling and memorable as fiction and ripe for film adaptation.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Brinkley-Rogers’ young innocence is poignant, and the picture he paints of times past, Japanese culture, and the making of a writer is memorable.” —Booklist
"Please enjoy…the most romantic memoir you're likely to read in a lifetime."-–Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author of HERE'S TO US
"A moving memoir exploring the last imprint of his first love."