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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But they survived, creating homes and businesses with their husbands and children, most keeping to the shelter of the local Japanese community – either by choice or by expectation – until the onset of Word War II.

Her imagery is crisp and her prose is lean. Filled with evocative descriptive sketches…and hesitantly revelatory confessions. The Buddha in the Attic is a novel written by American author Julie Otsuka about Japanese picture brides immigrating to America in the early s.

Once again, Julie Otsuka has written a spellbinding novel about identity and loyalty, and what it means to be an American in uncertain times. The first person plural narrative Otsuza uses was distracting, even a little irritating at times, but I realized that by choosing that collective voice she is able to put the reader in the shoes of these multiple unnamed, generic characters.

There is no story in this book, however, as it is everyone’s story. Apr 27, Michael rated it it was amazing Recommended to Michael by: Buy the selected items together This item: But, to quote Terry Pratchett of course I would! The issei and their nissei second generation American children were viewed as the enemies of the people.

Set up a giveaway. 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 Feb 02, J. They bore it in silence, suffered unbelievable hardship in silence and submission, something that they had been taught by their mothers in Japan. Hindus prostrate before their elders. However, they did become part of the lives of the Americans.


A boldly imagined work that takes a stylistic risk more daring and exciting than many brawnier books five times its size. Lists with This Book.

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka – review | Books | The Guardian

These women left lives as laborers in Yamaguchi rice paddies or Osaka brothels to become laborers in California fields or maids in mansions. They took us in the best hotels in San Francisco Share your thoughts with other customers.

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.

Discuss the impact of this narrative decision on your reading experience. Sep 16, Margitte rated it liked it Shelves: Specific, clear, multitudinous in its grasp and subtly emotional. Still, they gave us a hard time.

Where hearing one or two individual stories carries weight, here we see the weight of generations. Otsuka winds a thread of despair throughout the book, haunting the reader at every chapter. View all 23 comments. Though 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. Master Harold and the Boys: Ships from and sold by Amazon.

This story and the characters within it deserve a closer and more intimate exploration than the method Otsuka chose to apply allows. Some of us have abandoned this book, some of us are glad it is over and are moving on to the next book on the shelf, and some of us will give Julie Otsuka another chance and read her best seller, “When the Emporer was Divine”.

They really This book was like a muffled scream. And, she has done it so powerfully in these pages that it leaves an impression of having sifted through a hundred lives in a very short span. Which brings up another issue, I never connected with any of these ladies since they were all intended to be representative of many more ladies in similar situations.

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They took us downtown, in second-rate rooms 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. Some babies were delivered by their husbands who knew nothing about delivering babies. Simplicity of line is prized, extraneous detail discouraged.


Haruko left a tiny laughing brass Buddha up high, thee a corner of the attic, where he is still laughing to this day. Life is hard for these women, to say the least, and like an experimental documentary, we are allowed to follow hundreds bdudha 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 thd.

In a devastating chapter entitled “First Night”, Otsuka recounts the physical consummation of these new relationships.

Some of us were from Hiroshima, which would later explode, and were lucky to be on the boat at all though of course we did not then know it. They called us Pearl. What a fabulous read!!! AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally.

Otsuka masterfully creates a chorus of the unforgettable voices that echo throughout the chambers of this slim but commanding novel, speaking of a time that no American should ever attiv.

Otsuka illuminates the challenges, suffering and occasional joy that they found in their new homeland. March Second read: Some of the marriages survive and some don’t. They took us with our white silk kimonos twisted up high over our heads and we were sure we were about to die.

They also believed that they would make good attiic for they knew how to cook, to sew, to make tea, and to please. I would be interested in reading her other novel, and I rate the novella Buddha in the Attic a solid 3.