Praise for My Year of Dirt and Water: Journal of a Zen Monk’s Wife in Japan:
“In a year apart from everyone she loves, Tracy Franz reconciles her feelings of loneliness and displacement into acceptance and trust. Keenly observed and lyrically told, her journal takes us deep into the spirit of Zen, where every place you stand is the monastery.” – Karen Maezen Miller, author of Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden
“Tracy Franz’s memoir, My Year of Dirt and Water, is a remarkable account of a woman’s sojourn, largely in Japan, while her husband undergoes a year-long training session in a Zen Buddhist monastery. Difficult, disciplined, and interesting as the husband’s training toward becoming a monk may be, it is the author’s tale that has our attention here. Franz writes wonderfully of her loneliness, of her strictly formal and short-lived visits to her husband, of the hardships of love, of her mother’s bout with cancer back in Alaska, of her Japanese students (she teaches English as a second language), of the cross-cultural difficulty of language, and perhaps most tellingly of her year-long long study of pottery making with a very stern Japanese mentor. One teacup after another is rejected as imperfect. What more could be said about Zen study? I urge this book upon readers without reservation. ” – John Keeble, author of seven books, including The Shadows of Owls.