The Buddha in the Attic

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Alfred A. Knopf, 2011 - Fiction - 129 pages
91 Reviews
Finalist for the 2011 National Book Award

Julie Otsuka’s long awaited follow-up toWhen the Emperor Was Divine(“To watchEmperorcatching on with teachers and students in vast numbers is to grasp what must have happened at the outset for novels likeLord of the FliesandTo Kill a Mockingbird” —The New York Times) is a tour de force of economy and precision, a novel that tells the story of a group of young women brought over from Japan to San Francisco as ‘picture brides’ nearly a century ago.

In eight incantatory sections,The Buddha in the Attictraces their extraordinary lives, from their arduous journey by boat, where they exchange photographs of their husbands, imagining uncertain futures in an unknown land; to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields and scrubbing the floors of white women; to their struggles to master a new language and a new culture; to their experiences in childbirth, and then as mothers, raising children who will ultimately reject their heritage and their history; to the deracinating arrival of war.

In language that has the force and the fury of poetry, Julie Otsuka has written a singularly spellbinding novel about the American dream. 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pennsylady - LibraryThing

Buddha In The Atticis a small book and different from a style of writing that I would usually lean to. I opened it hoping for something similar to the picture brides from Honolulu Instead, a Japanese ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Olivermagnus - LibraryThing

Told in a collective voice, this book takes true stories of Japanese picture brides from the early 1900s who came to America to marry men they had never met. The vast majority of them were lied to by ... Read full review

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Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10

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About the author (2011)

Julie Otsuka was born and raised in California. She is the author of the novel, When the Emperor was Divine, and a recipient of the Asian American Literary Award, the American Library Association Alex Award, and a Guggenheim fellowship. She lives in New York City.

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