When The Emperor Was Divine

Author:

Julie Otsuka’s commanding and passionate debut novel explores unfamiliar history – that of Japanese Americans in World War II. With crystalline intensity and precision, Otsuka uses a single family to evoke the deracination of a generation who find themselves interned in their own country. With each chapter flawlessly executed from a different point of view – the mother; the daughter; the son; the family’s return to their home; and the bitter release of their father – she has created a novel of unrelenting economy and suppressed emotion. “When The Emperor Was Divine” is a haunting evocation of a family in wartime and an unmistakably resonant lesson for our times. It heralds the arrival of a singularly gifted new novelist.

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Julie Otsuka’s commanding and passionate debut novel explores unfamiliar history – that of Japanese Americans in World War II. With crystalline intensity and precision, Otsuka uses a single family to evoke the deracination of a generation who find themselves interned in their own country. With each chapter flawlessly executed from a different point of view – the mother; the daughter; the son; the family’s return to their home; and the bitter release of their father – she has created a novel of unrelenting economy and suppressed emotion. “When The Emperor Was Divine” is a haunting evocation of a family in wartime and an unmistakably resonant lesson for our times. It heralds the arrival of a singularly gifted new novelist.

 

Publisher: Penguin

Paperback

2004

ISBN: 9780141009056