The Buddha in the Attic

The Buddha in the Attic

Summary

Julie Otsuka's The Buddha in the Attic, the follow-up to When the Emperor Was Divine was shortlisted for the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and winner of the Pen Faulkner Award for Fiction 2012.

Between the first and second world wars a group of young, non-English-speaking Japanese women travelled by boat to America. They were picture brides, clutching photos of husbands-to-be whom they had yet to meet. Julie Otsuka tells their extraordinary, heartbreaking story in this spellbinding and poetic account of strangers lost and alone in a new and deeply foreign land.

'Sweeping, symphonic, empathic . . . subtle, infinitely skilful . . . an exhilarating, compulsive read. Otsuka's haunting, heartbreaking conclusion, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, is faultless' Daily Mail

'A tender, nuanced, empathetic exploration of the sorrows and consolations of a whole generation of women . . . the distaff equivalent of a war memorial' Daily Telegraph

'A haunting and heartbreaking look at the immigrant experience . . . Otsuka's keenly observed prose manages to capture whole histories in a sweep of gorgeous incantatory sentences' Marie Claire

'An understated masterpiece... she conjures up the lost voices of a generation of Japanese American women without losing sight of the distinct experience of each' San Francisco Chronicle

Julie Otsuka was born and raised in California. She is the author of the novel When the Emperor Was Divine, and a recipient of the Asian American Literary Award, the American Library Association Alex Award, and a Guggenheim fellowship. Her second novel, The Buddha in the Attic, was nominated for the 2011 National Book Award. She lives in New York City.

Reviews

  • Sweeping, symphonic, empathic . . . subtle, infinitely skilful . . . an exhilarating, compulsive read. Otsuka's haunting, heartbreaking conclusion, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, is faultless
    Daily Mail

About the author

Julie Otsuka

Julie Otsuka was born and raised in California. She pursued a career as a painter for several years before turning to fiction writing at age 30. Her first two novels When the Emperor Was Divine (nominated for the Women's Prize) and The Buddha in the Attic were internationally celebrated. She is a recipient of the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Asian American Literary Award, France's Prix Femina Étranger and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She now lives in New York City. Her latest novel, The Swimmers, published at Fig Tree.
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