Meet #nbbookfest author JA Hijiya

J. A. Hijiya
New Bedford, MA

BOOK TITLE: A Piece of Valiant Dust: An Essay in Living

SYNOPSIS: J. A. Hijiya hasn’t had daring adventures, survived horrific tragedy, or even accomplished enough to be listed in Wikipedia. His life is much more commonplace than that—with ups and downs, to be sure, but no more than most people endure. It is in everyday experience that Hijiya finds beauty, meaning, and humor. In this memoir he describes how to run on crutches, how to see with your eyes closed, how to make cockroaches fly, and how not to write a haiku; in short, how to live, or at least how he did. He tried to observe.

BIO: J. A. Hijiya was born in Spokane, Washington, in 1949 and educated there in the public schools. He worked for the Spokane Spokesman-Review as a paperboy, copyboy, reporter, and copy editor before leaving for college. He majored in English at Brown University, then switched to History for his Ph.D. at Cornell. He taught for two years at Ithaca College, then twenty-five at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He published two academic biographies and a dozen scholarly articles. After retiring from teaching, he wrote A Piece of Valiant Dust, portions of which have been previously published in Antioch Review and Raritan.


  • New Bedford Bookfest takes place from 11:00am – 4:00pm on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23 at the co-working facility, Groundwork! (1213 Purchase Street). The bookfest is free and open to the public. Dozens of authors will be in attendance to sell and sign their books during the bookfest. Special, ticketed features include a discussion on The Rise & Fall of the American Movie Theater with photographer and author Matt Lambros and a Q & A between BookLovers columnist Lauren Daley and Ruthless River author Holly FitzGerald.  Follow updates at