News for March 2012

Her Story

We talked about reinvention, and revision.  About a different ending, and about how sometimes, when you don’t know who this voice in your head is, all you have to do is ask.  We discussed picking a cold place for a story, going to Paris, and passing: passing up, passing for, passing through. We did some math: What is love plus freedom in your book, and what does love minus freedom equal?

We had a wonderful day in Baltimore, Bernice McFadden, Jacqueline Luckett, Leila Cobo, Linda Duggins and I.  It was an encounter made possible in part by Joy Bramble, publisher of the Baltimore Times whose earlier chance encounter with Linda Duggins began with “My feet were killing me…”. Many thanks to the Enoch Pratt Library, Judy Cooper, and everyone who supported the event, who came, who asked questions.

At one point, an audience member got up and gave us an amazing gift.  She had read every book, and she told us what she learned from each one and the reasons why she will never be the same person as she was before she read them.  Thank you, Ella Curry, for your words.

Love plus freedom: math I never had to do in school.

What does love plus freedom mean to you?


Here I come, Baltimore

The DC Examiner wraps up a series on all the International Women’s History Month panelists today with a short article on me.  If you can’t make it, check out the series to see what you are missing.  Thank you, Wendy Coakley-Thompson!

Rizzuto is passionate about the power and cultural significance of storytelling in general and women’s stories in particular. “Storytelling – as humans but especially as women – is our way to build consensus and community, and the more truthful we are when we stand up and say ‘This is who I am, this is what I believe, or what I did,’ the stronger and more beautiful that community will be,” she declares.

Continue reading on Rahna Reiko Rizzuto prescribes storytelling as an antidote to historical silence – Washington DC Publishing Industry |


Posted: March 10th, 2012
Categories: Events, Hiroshima in the Morning, The Writing Life
Comments: No Comments.

Information on Fukushima

Here are the links and sources for some of the statements I made in my last two articles on the Fukushima disaster.  You can find the articles on the Progressive Media Project and The Huffington Post.

1.    White House Press Release about the bombing of Hiroshima.

2.    Speechwriter McGeorge Bundy’s role in the statement of the number of causalities avoided by the atomic bombings, as discussed by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin coauthors ofAmerican Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer.”

3.    The American Nuclear Society’s report that American nuclear plants are safe, and that “the off-site health consequences” of the Fukushima meltdown “may ultimately be minimal.”

4.    The Associated Press report that three quarters of the U.S. nuclear plants were leaking radioactive tritium.

5.     TEPCO plans to “contain” the radioactivity in the nearby bay by cementing it over with 73,000 square meters of cement.

6.     Computer models of tangible tsunami trash.

7.      My article on the effects of radiation on survivors of Hiroshima published last year after the Fukushima disaster.

8.     A map of more than 2050 nuclear tests and accidents since 1945.

9.     Japanese government delays release of information on telltale signs that the Fukushima reactors has melted down for months.

10.   Japanese government increases acceptable levels for radiation exposure to five times that in the U.S.

11.    When radiation in spinach, milk and beef exceed legal limits, the Chief Cabinet Secretary says “Even if people eat these products, there will be no immediate effect.”

12.    When high levels of radiation are detected in tea in Shizuoka, the governor declares the tea safe and refuses to have it tested further because it might “confuse” people.

13.    The Japanese government loosens the definition of “cold shutdown” in December in order to declare its leaking, vulnerable, still-actively-being cooled reactors “stable.”

14.     In Japan, 52 of 54 reactors are currently offline due to safety concerns.

15.     The U.S. has generated approximately 71,862 tons of waste and has nowhere to store it; three quarters of it sits in over-capacity water-cooling pools like those in Fukushima.

16.     Japan is expected to run completely out of room to store its waste in 10-20 years.

17.      Radioactive waste has a much longer lifespan than we do (from 500 to 500,000 years).

18.     The U.S. approves the first nuclear power plant since the 1970s, with an 8.3 billion federal loan, despite an objection by NRC Chairman, Gregory Jaczko, who requests that enhancements and improvements based on the lessons of Fukushima be implemented.

19.      Water used to cool the fuel has been measured at up to 7.5 million times the legal limit for radiation.

20.     The Japanese government deliberately dumps 11,500 tons of radioactive water into the sea in April (calling this act “regrettable and unfortunate” and also mentioning that it was carried out “at the strong urging of the U.S.”).

21.     In December , Japanese government warns that its 100,000 ton storage tanks will be full by March.


Posted: March 9th, 2012
Categories: Our Nuclear Age
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Coming to Baltimore


Looking forward to talking about women’s history this Saturday – the history of family, love, loss, death, community, and not the machinations of conquering countries.

For more information, here’s a lovely preview in the Baltimore Times.

“Hiroshima in the Morning” forces the reader to contemplate memory, history and personal truth. Rizzuto says she hopes it encourages readers to discover, “What’s important to you, so you can stand on the mountain top and you can say what happened. This is my story.”

And a link to the topic and the amazing writers who will be joining the panel with me.  See you here:

March 10, 2012:

International Literary Festival
1:00 pm until 4:00 pm.
Enoch Pratt Free Library
400 Cathedral Street

Baltimore MD