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Finalist for the 2011 National Book Award


Julie Otsuka's long awaited follow-up to When the Emperor Was Divine ("To watch Emperor catching on with teachers and students in vast numbers is to grasp what must have happened at the outset for novels like Lord of the Flies and To 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 Attic traces 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.



About the Author

Julie Otsuka

Julie Otsuka was born and raised in California. After studying art as an undergraduate at Yale University she pursued a career as a painter for several years before turning to fiction writing at age 30. She received her MFA from Columbia. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Asian American Literary Award, and the American Library Association Alex Award. Her first novel, , is about the internment of a Japanese-American family during World War II. It was a Notable Book, a Best Book of the Year, and a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers finalist. The book is based on Otsuka's own family history: her grandfather was arrested by the FBI as a suspected spy for Japan the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, and her mother, uncle and grandmother spent three years in an internment camp in Topaz, Utah. has been translated into six languages and sold more than 250,000 copies. called it "a resonant and beautifully nuanced achievement" and described it as "A gem of a book and one of the most vivid history lessons you'll ever learn. " It has been assigned to all incoming freshmen at more than 35 colleges and universities and is a regular 'Community Reads' selection across the US. Her second novel, , is about a group of young Japanese 'picture brides' who sailed to America in the early 1900s to become the wives of men they had never met and knew only by their photographs. It has been nominated for the 2011 National Book Award.



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