HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
Loading...

When the Emperor Was Divine (2002)

by Julie Otsuka

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,462895,114 (3.77)199
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 199 mentions

English (87)  French (2)  All languages (89)
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
Follows an unnamed Japanese woman, her son and daughter as they are part of the rounding up and internment of the Japanese population. They are sent to Utah. The father has already been arrested and is being held in New Mexico. Each segment of the book is told from the perspective of each member of the famiy.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book except that the author is an excellent storyteller. The subject is very depressing and so was the story, but it is to be expected when writing about the Japanese internment camps during WWII. I liked hearing the story from the perspective of the two young children (brother and sister) but it was very somber. Well written and worth reading. ( )
  Erika.D | Jan 28, 2016 |
The beginning and ending of this story of Japanese-Americans during World War II were powerful though the middle seemed to lack interest or emotion. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
The beginning and ending of this story of Japanese-Americans during World War II were powerful though the middle seemed to lack interest or emotion. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
It is spring of 1942, in the early days of WWII. Evacuation orders for over 100,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast have been posted. Japanese Americans who’ve done nothing wrong, whose only crime is their ancestry, are suddenly enemy aliens and ordered to leave their homes to reside in internment camps far away. The first chapter is told from the mother’s perspective. Her husband was taken away one night for “questioning” and now she is making painful choices and preparations for the rest of the family to leave their home in California. The next chapter is from the perspective of the eleven year old daughter, on the train and then later on a bus toward their destination in Utah. The next two chapters are told by the eight year old boy during the family’s time at camp and are filled with a kids view of the heat, the hunger, the boredom, the cramped quarters, the barbed wire and the armed guards.

I thought the author did a great job of bringing the reader into the story with her short and matter of fact chapters. The simplicity with which the story is told turned out to be a very moving historical fiction look at one of America's most shameful moments.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
This book is for my parents
and in memory of Toyoko H. Nozaka
First words
The sign had appeared overnight.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
On a sunny day in Berkeley, California, in 1942, a woman sees a sign in a post office window, returns to her house, 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 homes and sent to a dusty internment camp in the Utah desert. In this lean and devastatingly evocative first novel, Julie Otsuka tells their story from five flawlessly realized points of view and conveys the exact emotional texture of the experience: the thin-walled barracks and barbed-wire fences, the omnipresent fear and loneliness, the unheralded feats of heroism. When the Emperor Was Divine is a work of enormous power that makes a shameful episode of our history as immediate as today's headlines. (0-385-72181-1)
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385721811, Paperback)

A precise, understated gem of a first novel, Julie Otsuka's When the Emperor Was Divine tells one Japanese American family's story of internment in a Utah enemy alien camp during World War II. We never learn the names of the young boy and girl who were forced to leave their Berkeley home in 1942 and spend over three years in a dusty, barren desert camp with their mother. Occasional, heavily censored letters arrive from their father, who had been taken from their house in his slippers by the FBI one night and was being held in New Mexico, his fate uncertain. But even after the war, when they have been reunited and are putting their stripped, vandalized house back together, the family can never regain its pre-war happiness. Broken by circumstance and prejudice, they will continue to pay, in large and small ways, for the shape of their eyes. When the Emperor Was Divine is written in deceptively tranquil prose, a distillation of injustice, anger, and poetry; a notable debut. --Regina Marler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:49 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Otsuka's commanding debut novel paints a portrait of the Japanese internment camps unlike any previously written--a haunting evocation of a family in wartime and an unmistakably resonant lesson for our times.

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
7 avail.
45 wanted
5 pay5 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.77)
0.5
1 4
1.5 1
2 19
2.5 8
3 103
3.5 40
4 156
4.5 22
5 79

Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,273,138 books! | Top bar: Always visible