Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Community Reads: When the Emperor Was Divine, by Julie Otsuka

Author Julie Otsuka, Photo by Jerry Bauer
Perrot's Community Reads program will be held on Monday, November 13th, 2006, at 7:00 P.M. in the Library. Esther Bushell will lead a discussion of the novel When the Emperor was Divine, a poignant novel of a Japanese's family's ordeal in an internment camp during World War II. The author, Julie Otsuka, will read excerpts from the book. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at Just Books, on Arcadia Road in Old Greenwich. Or click here to place a hold on this book through the library.

About the Book:
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.

When the Emperor Was Divine *Click here to place a hold*"Prose so cool and precise that it’s impossible not to believe what [Otsuka] tells us or to see clearly what she wants us to see. . . . A gem of a book and one of the most vivid history lessons you’ll ever learn." –USA Today

"Exceptional. . . . Otsuka skillfully dramatizes a world suddenly foreign. . . . [Her] incantatory, unsentimental prose is the book’s greatest strength." –The New Yorker

"Heartbreaking, bracingly unsentimental. . . .rais[es] the specter of wartime injustice in bone-chilling fashion. . . . The novel’s honesty and matter-of-fact tone in the face of inconceivable injustice are the source of its power. . . . Dazzling." –Publishers Weekly

Please call 203-637-3870 for more information about this and other Library events.

1 comment:

SCPL Readers said...

Join an online discussion of When the Emperor Was Divine at