Marie Mutsuki Mockett was born to an American father and Japanese mother, and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Her memoir, “Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye,” a finalist for the 2016 PEN Open Book Award, examines grief against the backdrop of the 2011 Great East Earthquake, and Mockett’s family temple located 25 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power reactor. A 2011 Op Ed in The New York Times about 3.11 led to featured participation in the internationally televised NHK Documentary, “Venerating the Departed.” Mockett’s awards include a Fellowship from the US/Japan Creative Artist Fellowship, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Her novel, “Picking Bones from Ash,” was a finalist for the Saroyan Prize and the Paterson Prize. Her new work in progress, “A Kernel In God’s Eye,” follows her journey through seven red agricultural states in the company of evangelical Christian harvesters, and the changing role of food, God, science, and race in society, and was a finalist for the Lukas Prize, awarded by Columbia and Harvard University’s Schools of Journalism.