The Buddha in the Attic
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.
2011 National Book Award Finalist
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
A New York Times Notable Book
A Best Book of the Year (The Boston Globe, Vogue)
Winner of the 2012 PEN/Faulkner Award in Fiction
Winner of the 2012 "Femina" Award for Translated Fiction
Winner of the 2012 "Lire" Award for Discovery of the Year
“Arresting and alluring…. Magical.”
“Otsuka’s incantatory style pulls her prose close to poetry.”
The New York Times Book Review
"See it and you'll want to pick it up. Start reading it and you won't want to put it down."
The Huffington Post
“A delicate, heartbreaking portrait . . . beautifully rendered . . . Otsuka’s prose is precise and rich with imagery. Readers will be . . . hopelessly engaged and will finish this exceptional book profoundly moved.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Julie Otsuka, the award winning author of "The Buddha in the Attic", discusses with Ynet her much praised book, the Japanese connection to President Obama's reelection, and why hardly a day goes by without her thinking of Amos Oz.
Yotam Schwimmer, Ynet
"The Buddha in the Attic is a stunning book. Pure magic told in a steady voice. Heart breaking. I was captivated. Highly recommended."
"The Buddha in the Attic, winner of the Pen/Faulkner award, tells the unknown story of the hardship Japanese women underwent in early 20th century USA. The author Julie Otsuka discusses immigration, being foreigners and feminism."
Lee Peled, Time Out Tel Aviv