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
  • Paints a poignant, moving portrait of immigration by deftly weaving together a chorus of voices. Fascinating and tragic in equal measure

    Easy Living
  • A tender, nuanced, empathetic exploration of the sorrows and consolations of a whole generation of women

    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
  • Novels written in the first person plural are rare. It's a narrative device that gives The Buddha in the Attic a deliciously melancholy quality . . . Powerful, lyrical and almost unbearably sad

    Psychologies
  • Powerfully moving . . . intensely lyrical . . . verges on the edge of poetry

    Independent
  • The tone is often incantatory, and though the language is direct, unconvoluted, almost without metaphor, its true and very unusual merit lies, I think, in that indefinable quality we call poetry

    Ursula Le Guin, Guardian
  • A kind of collective memoir that squeezes volumes of experience into a small space . . . more than a history lesson because Otsuka compresses the individual emotions into one haunting story

    The Times
  • Her trick is to sum up a few life story in a few tantalising sentences, moving on to the next at lightning speed. The result is panoramic, each line opening a window on to the world of one woman after another, pinpointing each one's hopes and happiness or misery and pain

    Sunday Express
  • Intriguing . . . fleeting, singular images pile up and reverberate against each other to strange, memorable effect

    Metro