Letter From:
Cynthia Kadohata

To:  The Women's National Book Association/LA Chapter
          and the Judy Lopez Memorial Foundation

I believe most writers have a home. For me, writing each new book means finding that home. Maybe your home is the sea; maybe your home is your fears, maybe your home is wizardry, and maybe your home is something as seemingly small as a single incident or a single year of your life. Many writers have more than one home. For me, some of my homes as a writer have been my father, my ethnicity, my dogs, and the American landscape.

I first heard about custom harvesting in 2010, and I knew immediately that I had to write about it. When I was growing up my late father worked 100-hour weeks in a blue-collar job. When he wasn’t working, my family was on the road, driving to a new job my father had found. To this day the road strikes me as dreamlike and mystic. So the idea of people on the move for several months, as they drive from wheat field to wheat field, seemed amazing to me. And they work long hours like my father did. Inside my mind, the subject matter resided halfway between dreams and memories.

As I write this, for the first time I realize that I’m more obsessed with some manuscripts than others as I work. The Thing About Luck was one of the manuscripts I was obsessed with. Even though the father of the main character doesn’t appear in the novel, I think of the book as an homage to my father.

So in my mind, for my novel to be named a Judy Lopez Memorial Awards Honor Book is an homage to him. Thank you so much for the honor. I accept the award not for myself but for my father. I hope he’s looking down on me now, and forever.

Cynthia Kadohata