Please Enjoy Your Happiness

A Memoir

Please Enjoy Your Happiness

A beautiful and evocative memoir based on the author’s summer-long love affair with a remarkable older Japanese woman in the wake of World War II—“the most romantic memoir you’re likely to read in a lifetime” (New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand).

Pulitzer Prize–winning war correspondent Paul Brinkley‑Rogers has lived an adventurous life all over the world. But there is one story he cannot forget: that of his haunting love affair with a mysterious older Japanese woman in 1959. Paul was a sailor aboard the USS Shangri‑La that long‑ago summer when he met Kaji Yukiko in the seaport of Yokosuka. A fierce intellectual, Yukiko shared her astonishing knowledge of literature, film, and poetry with Paul and encouraged, even demanded, that he use his gifts to become the writer he is today.

But theirs was not a quiet love story. When a member of the yakuza, Japan’s brutal crime syndicate, attempted to kidnap Yukiko, Paul realized that there was much more to her—and to Japan in the devastating wake of World War II—than he saw at first glance. Through the searing letters that Yukiko wrote to him and Paul’s vivid telling of a history made all the more powerful and poignant by the weight of time, Please Enjoy Your Happiness reaches across decades and continents, inviting us all to revisit those loves of our lives that never truly end.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501151262 | 
  • June 2017
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Please Enjoy Your Happiness includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Paul Brinkley-Rogers. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


With an intimacy underscored by lyrical prose, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Paul Brinkley-Rogers brings his journalistic gifts to his own past and a long-ago love in his thrilling memoir Please Enjoy Your Happiness.

More than fifty years ago, Brinkley-Rogers was a sailor aboard the Shangri-La when it docked in the seaside Japanese town of Yokosuka. While on leave, his life fatefully intersects with that of Kaji Yukiko, an older woman with a fertile mind and troubled past. Despite their drastically different backgrounds and age gap, their relationship blossoms through shared experiences, a series of letters, and deep conversations on life, love, and art. But their burgeoning love is not without its complications.

Evocative and deeply personal, Please Enjoy Your Happiness is universal in its themes of love, fate, and memory.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. How would you describe the reading experience of Please Enjoy Your Happiness? Did see more

About the Author

Paul Brinkley-Rogers

Paul Brinkley-Rogers

Paul Brinkley-Rogers is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and veteran war correspondent. For many years he worked in Asia as a staff member of Newsweek, covering the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia, the death of Chairman Mao, and Japan's economic miracle. He also reported from Latin America for The Miami Herald, sharing the Pulitzer Prize with a reporting team in 2001 for coverage of the Elian Gonzalez custody battle. He is the author of Please Enjoy Your Happiness, a memoir. Now retired, he lives in Arizona.