In her lyric essay “Tsunami” published in the Margins, Juliet S. Kono uses the zuihitsu form to tell a layered story about how her family has survived through multiple tsunami attacks. The essay uses dates to introduce each section, beginning with her family emigrating from Japan to Hawai’i in the early 1900s, then jumping to the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Tōhoku, Japan, and culminating in 1946 when she and her family survived a deadly tsunami in Hilo, Hawai’i. Inspired by Kono, write a lyric essay that explores a shared history between you and your ancestors. Try using dates to structure the essay, adding historical and emotional layers to the narrative as you write.
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