In Julie Otsuka’s novel, Japanese women sail to America in the early “The Buddha in the Attic” unfurls as a sequence of linked narratives. : The Buddha in the Attic (Pen/Faulkner Award – Fiction) ( ): Julie Otsuka: Books. Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award For Fiction National Book Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist A New York Times Notable Book A gorgeous.

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With no characters or plot, the book might be classified a prose poem. Be sure to read the author’s note at the end to see whose words she uses for her fictional mayor’s. When they had to abandon their houses due to wartime measures, …more The Buddha was a symbol of the jluie that these women brought from Japan with them.

Others may find the shifting in narrative voice among women and groups of women confusing or disconcerting. Life in America, according to Otsuka, was not the American dream depicted in letters. It begins on a boat in the early s, with dozens of young Japanese women who were being shipped to husbands in San Francisco to begin new lives. View all 31 comments. Some of us were from Nara, and prayed to our ancestors three times a day, and swore we could still hear the temple bells ringing Otsuka draws the reader in by offering up a kaleidoscope of experiences by a attiv of Japanese women clustered in the ship’s steerage bound for California as mail-order brides.

There is a lyricism that is touching, some phrasing of ideas that is striking, some chuckle worthy ignorance about white people that mirrors the ignorance of white people about Japanese and so on.


The Buddha in the Attic

After all, it’s the plight of one, the quest of one, the triumph of one that appeals to us – naturally, as individual and personal portrayals appeal to our innate sense of self, make us connect in a way most of us do not when faced with a collective – reflected quite well in every story, every film, every charity poster that brings out the individual behind the masses, appeals to the personal spark inside of us.

Thank you for your feedback. They would sell their possessions for dirt cheap prices. View all 8 comments. Wrought in exquisite poetry, each sentence spare in words, precise in meaning and eloquently evocative, like a tanka poem, this book is a rare, unique treat. When the Emperor Was Divine captures the experience of a family sent from their home in California to an internment camp during the Second World War.

It does what I feel literature does better than ‘knowing the facts’: Life is hard for these women, to say the least, and like an experimental documentary, we are allowed to follow hundreds of these characters through the early years of thier marriages, child bearing and rearing years, and the endless work that consumes their lives either cultivating fields on the West Coast or in domestic service.

On the boat we were mostly virgins.

Hhe it’s mostly told in first-person plural, it reminded me of the style of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carriedanother treatment where what seems like ‘just’ a list of things is so much more. Mar 20, Pages.


The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka – Reading Guide – : Books

The opening chapter sets the scene on the boat as the women make their crossing to America, clutching photos of the handsome young men they believe to be their new husbands. See all reviews. The style is julei of, perhaps, the repetition found in Native American poems and song.

I don’t recall reading a historical novel as emotionally intuitive and empathetic as this one in iin long time. The Washington Independent Review of Books.

The first chapter, “Come, Japanese! Add both to Cart Add both to List.

They develop lives and while the book is in almost a chorus the reader still gets to know the individual and perhaps has an even better connection. Amazon Otsyka Refurbished products with a warranty. A history lesson in heartbreak. What we value and what we fear. Take a close look at the last six sentences of the chapter, with a particular emphasis on the very last sentence. We are experiencing technical difficulties.

With The Buddha in the AtticJulie Otsuka has developed a literary style that is half poetry, half narration — short phrases, sparse description, so that the current of emotion running through each chapter is made more resonant by her restraint. Master Harold and the Boys: Otsuka illuminates the challenges, suffering and occasional joy that they found in their new homeland.

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