Why this book?
This sharply observed novel illustrates in devastating detail how their imprisonments in internment camps scar a Japanese-American family. The point of view shifts from mother to sister to brother and finally to father, who has been declared a traitor by the government and removed from his family. Otsuka’s descriptions bring their stories to life and force the reader to confront one of the United States’ great historical sins.
When the Emperor Was Divine
Why should I read it?
2 authors picked When the Emperor Was Divine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
From the bestselling, award-winning author of The Buddha in the Attic and The Swimmers, this commanding debut novel paints a portrait of the Japanese American incarceration camps that is both a haunting evocation of a family in wartime and a resonant lesson for our times.
On a sunny day in Berkeley, California, in 1942, a woman sees a sign in a post office window, returns to her home, and matter-of-factly begins to pack her family's possessions. Like thousands of other Japanese Americans they have been reclassified, virtually overnight, as enemy aliens and are about to be uprooted from their home…