Julie Otsuka’s commanding debut novel paints a portrait of the Japanese internment camps unlike any we have ever seen. With crystalline intensity...more
Julie Otsuka’s commanding debut novel paints a portrait of the Japanese internment camps unlike any we have ever seen. With crystalline intensity and precision, Otsuka uses a single family to evoke the deracination—both physical and emotional—of a generation of Japanese Americans. In five chapters, each flawlessly executed from a different point of view—the mother receiving the order to evacuate; the daughter on the long train ride to the camp; the son in the desert encampment; the family’s return to their home; and the bitter release of the father after more than four years in captivity—she has created a small tour de force, a novel of unrelenting economy and suppressed emotion. Spare, intimate, arrestingly understated, When the Emperor Was Divine is a haunting evocation of a family in wartime and an unmistakably resonant lesson for our times. It heralds the arrival of a singularly gifted new novelist.From the Hardcover edition. less
Reminded me of "The Ginseng Hunter" in both its descriptive form as well as the length. It also was somewhat sad- describing a Japanese family in America during WW2 that was sent to an American concentration camp of sorts. It was a good read albeit a sad one.
Read this in one day. The story of a Japanese-American family sent to a concentration camp in Utah during WWII. There are five chapters, each providing a different perspective of events.
Otsuka has a wonderful talent for showing rather than telling.
one of the most inquisitively descriptive, yet still heart-wrenching uncomfortable, books i've ever read. follows the story of a Japanese-American family during WWII through leaving "home," the internment camp, and upon their return. beautiful