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Publisher's Summary

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.
From the Hardcover edition
©2011 Julie Otsuka (P)2011 Random House Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Lydia on 08-26-11

Fascinating topic, irritating writing style

We enjoyed the fresh perspective on history.
We enjoyed hearing the fascinating stories of these women’s lives.
We enjoyed seeing how varied, how individual, how unique these women were.
We got sick of the constant use of the plural form.
We got sick of the repetition.
We got sick of the constant jumping from person to person, never settling on any one individual for more than a few sentences.
We thought at first that four hours was awfully short for an unabridged audiobook, but by the end of it we didn’t mind that it wasn’t longer.

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20 of 22 people found this review helpful


By SamanthaG on 05-10-13

Not what I expected

I thought this would be a sort of "culture clash" type book with a good bit of humor. The "plural voice" used was interesting and not off-putting to me. I'll have to say there was much less humor than I expected, especially when it came to recounting the histories of the people who were sadly interned during WW2. It did go on and on somewhat like the "begats" in the Bible.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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