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When the Emperor Was Divine : A Novel (Reprint) (Paperback) (Julie Otsuka)

When the Emperor Was Divine : A Novel (Reprint) (Paperback) (Julie Otsuka) - image 1 of 1

About this item

The introduction, discussion questions, author biography, and suggested reading list that follow are designed to enhance your group’s reading of Julia Otsuka’s When the Emperor Was Divine. We hope they will provide fruitful ways of thinking and talking about a book that brilliantly explores the experience of Japanese Americans during World War II. Julia Otsuka’s quietly disturbing novel opens with a woman reading a sign in a post office window. It is Berkeley, California, the spring of 1942. Pearl Harbor has been attacked, the war is on, and though the precise message on the sign is not revealed, its impact on the woman who reads it is immediate and profound. It is, in many ways she cannot yet foresee, a sign of things to come. She readies herself and her two young children for a journey that will take them to the high desert plains of Utah and into a world that will shatter their illusions forever. They travel by train and gradually the reader discovers that all on board are Japanese American, that the shades must be pulled down at night so as not to invite rock-throwing, and that their destination is an internment camp where they will be imprisoned “for their own safety” until the war is over. With stark clarity and an unflinching gaze, Otsuka explores the inner lives of her main characters–the mother, daughter, and son–as they struggle to understand their fate and long for the father who they have not seen since he was whisked away, in slippers and handcuffs, on the evening of Pearl Harbor. Moving between dreams, memories, and sharply emblematic moments, When the Emperor Was Divine reveals the dark underside of a moment in American history that, until now, has been left largely unexplored in
Edition: Reprint
Number of Pages: 144
Genre: Fiction + Literature Genres
Sub-Genre: Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Peoples + Cultures, Society + Social Issues, War + Military, Family + Friendship
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Random House Inc
Author: Julie Otsuka
Language: English
Street Date: October 1, 2003
TCIN: 11630373
UPC: 9780385721813
Item Number (DPCI): 248-12-1396
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