(Blackstone Publishing, June 2020) Purchase from your local bookstore: indiebound.org
Years after her family was separated and placed in a Japanese American incarceration camp, one woman struggles to make sense of the demons they encountered there – demons that refuse to remain in the past. BLOCK SEVENTEEN, a novel based on Kimiko's family's experiences during WWII, explores connections between the past and today, and how trauma - especially unspoken trauma - is inherited across generations.

What the press is saying:
“...hints of Japanese mythology and the Shinto religion (wash) the story with a fraught animism and magical realism...With "Block Seventeen," Guthrie has recreated the fear of the other and created a hauntingly visceral experience that will linger on the fringes of the amygdala.” - Hanh Nguyen, Salon

“Striking and beautiful, Block Seventeen includes reflections of family, legacy, secrets and trauma that will shake readers to the core.” - Karla Strand, Ms. Magazine

"If you’re the kind of reader who devours Atwood, you’ll probably want to tuck in to Kimiko Guthrie.” - Clare O’Beara, FreshFiction

''The reader is taken back and forth in time in an absorbing ... narrative that is purposeful in its examination of how we seem to be reliving past horrors, speeding back down the same road, this time on the high-octane fuel of technology. This promising and totally immersive debut, rich in Japanese American culture, is as devastating and evocative as Julie Otsuka's When the Emperor Was Divine, with a Hitchcockian overlay of suspense.' Booklist

“...the ancestral stories — those of her grandparents, whose hotel in Los Angeles was confiscated when they were imprisoned, and those of her mother — are woven throughout, taking the reader back and forth between past and present, between memory and denial, in a psychological kabuki that defines Jane’s life.” - Mike Maggio, The Washington Independent Review of Books

BookBub includes BLOCK SEVENTEEN in 26 Best Book Club Books of the summer: https://www.bookbub.com/blog/best-book-club-books-of-the-summer-2020

Buzzfeed features BLOCK SEVENTEEN in their "38 Great Books To Read This Summer recommended by Indie Booksellers:  https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ariannarebolini/summer-reading-best-books-independent-bookstores

Audible includes BLOCK SEVENTEEN in their Editors Select Personal Picks for June: https://www.audible.com/ep/jun20-editors-select?ref=a_ep_Editor_c6_-1-0&pf_rd_p=b0d7b800-63bf-4253-882d-ec178fe73ef9&pf_rd_r=JQ5FHG16QR1SS9ZKQ2JD

The Chicago Review of Books includes BLOCK SEVENTEEN in their 10 Must Read Books This June roundup: https://chireviewofbooks.com/2020/06/04/10-must-read-books-this-june/

Ms. Magazine includes BLOCK SEVENTEEN in their “June 2020 Reads for the Rest of Us” roundup: https://msmagazine.com/2020/06/03/june-2020-reads-for-the-rest-of-us/

Bustle includes BLOCK SEVENTEEN in their Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2020: https://www.bustle.com/p/the-most-anticipated-books-of-summer-2020-22907146

Pop Sugar includes BLOCK SEVENTEEN in their Best Books of June: https://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/best-new-books-june-2020-47502217

Salon includes BLOCK SEVENTEEN in their recommended 5 must-reads for June:  https://www.salon.com/2020/06/14/brit-bennetts-the-vanishing-half-and-4-more-must-read-novels-out-in-june/

Literary Hub includes BLOCK SEVENTEEN in 5 Books You May Have Missed in June: https://lithub.com/5-books-you-may-have-missed-in-june-2/

Editorial Reviews:
“At this darkly divisive moment in our republic’s history, Block Seventeen stands as a manifestly timely work that addresses historical trauma, the fragile nature of identity, the folds of history and memory’s fissures. It is replete with surprises, sudden turns, and multiple voices while unblinkingly dramatizing the profound and enduring, intergenerational psychic scars left by the World War II Japanese American internment experience. Yet the novel is not without a knowing, redemptive humor as its characters attempt to find and define themselves not only in the unstable space between two cultures, but in the shifting terrain between past, present, and an unforeseeable future. Its quiet urgency speaks to us all.” Michael Palmer, author of The Laughter of the Sphinx

 “A layered mystery shrouded in grief, paranoia, and intergenerational trauma, set in the Bay Area but located in the half-hidden histories of many of its residents who lived through the Japanese American internment camps of the not-so-distant past.” - Thi Bui, national bestselling author of The Best We Could Do 

"Great crimes are never forgotten, and the World War II internment of the Japanese Americans continues to cast a long shadow. Block Seventeen traces parallels between past and present with a story that is sobering, hopeful, and always beautifully written.” David C. Fathi, Director, ACLU National Prison Project

“Kimiko Guthrie has written a breezy, accessible novel that manages to defy multiple genres. Block Seventeen is part love story, part supernatural ghost tale, part family history, and part political thriller, with nothing less than the Japanese internment in America during World War Two–and today’s treatment of immigrants–coursing through its haunted, beating heart.” Susan Jane Gilman, New York Times bestselling author 

"In Block Seventeen, Kimiko Guthrie blends horrors both supernatural and all too real to create a moving portrait of family, love, and the myriad ways trauma can haunt us across generations. This is a beautiful book, one that will linger in the reader's heart long after its final pages.” - Shaun Hamill, author of A Cosmology of Monsters 

Block Seventeen is a moving, compelling novel about intergenerational trauma and a woman’s process of integrating the various known and mysterious threads of her identity. The narrator, Jane (birth name Akiko), is the daughter of a woman who spent part of her childhood in Japanese internment camps. As the story moves back and forth between the contemporary Bay Area and the camps of the 1940s, we come to understand the tragedies that are passed down through a family, even unarticulated, which shape and, often, contaminate the present. Each of the three women in the book–Jane, her mother, her grandmother–searches for ways to evade unbearable loss, each in her separate context. Kimiko Guthrie has written a book in which what seems like surrealism or even magical realism can be understood as the efforts of troubled souls to make sense of experiences that cannot be rationally explained; in light of what is gradually learned about Jane’s family history, these experiences reveal themselves to be fragments of a painful collective and personal legacy. Guthrie’s book is poetically written and psychologically astute. I loved it.” - Anita Barrows, PhD, poet, psychologist, and author of We Are the Hunger  

"To the Cove”
(Bamboo Ridge Press, 1999)
Short story published in the anthology Intersecting Circles: the Voices of Hapa Women in Poetry and Prose. A critique of patriarchy, this collection has been taught at college campuses at the University of Hawaii, Manoa and UC Santa Cruz.

Dandelion Dancetheater (1991-present) Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director

(San Francisco and Los Angeles, 2003, 2005)
Performers: Frank Shawl, Eric Kupers, Rebecca Johnson, Debby Kajiyama
Choreography and Text: Kimiko Guthrie

Other works include:
Seeds of Winter (Shawl Anderson Dance Center, Berkeley, 2010); Mutt (Joyce/Soho Theater, New York, 2009, ODC Commons, SF, 2009 and Yosemite Artist Exchange Lodge, Yosemite, 2009); We Love You to the End of the World (Theater of Yugen, SF, 2009 and Mills College Theater, Oakland, 2008); 2005; Rosy's Wait (SOMARTS, SF, 2004); Hitch (The Cowell Theater, SF, 2000); Mind Circle (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland, 2000 and ODC Theater, SF, 2000); 2nd Class Sleeper (Dancing in the Streets/Wave Hill, New York, 1999);  Miyo in the Middle (The Big Island Dance Council, Hawaii, 1999 and Theater Artaud, SF, 1998), Riverbed (The Vijnana Kala Vedi Centre and Draavidia Gallery, Kerala, India, 1998); Recollections of a Hapa Cowgirl (Santa Cruz Gallery, 1997)

In addition to her work with Dandelion, Kimiko has created worked with:

  • Margaret Jenkins Dance Company (2002) Ms. Guthrie had the honor of accompanying Ms. Jenkins to Japan, where she assisted in the creation of a new work for “Ginko,” a Tokyo-based company for dancers over the age of 50.  

  • California Shakespeare Festival (2003) Much Ado About Nothing

  • Cal State East Bay University Theater (2000-present) Original Choreography, as well as CabaretA Chorus LineRoar of the Greasepaint, Smell of the Crowd

  • Asian American Dance Performances' Unbound Spirit Dance Co. (1994-1999)  Ms. Guthrie was a Resident Choreographer for AADP during which time she choreographed many works and participated in numerous outreach and educational activities.


The East Bay Community Foundation, the San Francisco Arts Commission, Grants for the Arts, the Gerbode Foundation, The Wattis Foundation, The Japan Foundation, The Zellerbach Family Fund, the Theater Bay Area CA$H program and the Serpent Source Foundation for Women Artists.  


“Dandelion Dancetheater’s “MUTT” is mad and maddening, a wild whirl of song, text, visual design and movement whose anarchic energies sometimes seem shot straight out of Dada….Sometimes merry, sometimes considerably more sinister, sometimes rather irritating; always demanding to be seen”-New York Times 2009
(Full review: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/arts/dance/18dandelion.html)

"Of the three world premieres, the most successful was Kimiko Guthrie's There….(The work) exuded a sense of urgency…a fresh look at a basic human concern; it was well thought out and excellently presented." -Rita Felciano, San Francisco Bay Guardian 2003

"Outstanding in concept, choreography and performance was Kimiko Guthrie's There. Guthrie both wrote and read the text which deals with being, becoming and knowing the self.” -Joanna Harris, Voice of Dance, 2003

"The strongest piece on the show, both in certainty of purpose and in edge of execution, was Kimiko Guthrie's There. Ms. Guthrie's shows are always heavily attended by other dancers; she's probably on everybody's short list of whose work is most interesting. Hard-edged, arresting, clear, There is nevertheless hard to describe." -Paul Parish, Dance View West, 2003

"...There revealed Guthrie to be the choreographer to watch, one capable of producing provocative works." -Joyce Nishioka, Asian Week, 2003

“...the real thing: clear, emotive and thoughtfully structured.” -The San Francisco Examiner, 2002

“Intense, intuitive choreography.” -The Los Angeles Times, 2001

“(Dandelion Dancetheater’s work is) a lively blend of the personal and the political, a fluid journey to the emotional through the physical and back again....Their dance works evoke and penetrate the multifarious strains of the human condition.  As choreographers, dancers, and educators, they exhibit an inspiring level of sophistication and integrity.” -Sima Belmar, San Francisco Bay Guardian, 2000

 “...using only a few witty colors and applying them heavily, Guthrie designed a dance about instinct and community, competitiveness and unity.” -Ann Murphy, The Oakland Tribune, 2001

"Kimiko Guthrie is multidisciplinary, multicultural, and multitalented.…(She) has proved her ability to allow text to illuminate movement and vice versa through a solid interweaving of live music...singing, speaking, and dancing."  -Sima Belmar, San Francisco Bay Guardian, 1998

"Recollections of a Hapa Cowgirl (an earlier version of Miyo in the Middle), choreographed by the fantastically expressive Kimiko Guthrie... is a riveting ride, presenting the All-American family and its dark secrets for what they are....If any one piece from Small-town, USA ever hit a nerve in the national conscious, its "Recollections"....It needs to be seen."  -Kimberly Gaurdino, Santa Cruz Good Times, 1997

"... Guthrie’s eloquent simplicity has an almost epic quality."  -Rita Felciano, San Francisco Bay Guardian, 1996