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Anchor Books

When the Emperor Was Divine

When the Emperor Was Divine

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From the bestselling, award-winning author of The Buddha in the Attic, this commanding debut novel paints a portrait of the Japanese internment camps that is both a haunting evocation of a family in wartime and a resonant lesson for our times.

On a sunny day in Berkeley, California, in 1942, a woman sees a sign in a post office window, returns to her home, 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 home 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 their 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.

Author: Julie Otsuka
Publisher: Anchor Books
Published: 10/14/2003
Pages: 160
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.35lbs
Size: 7.90h x 5.10w x 0.50d
ISBN: 9780385721813

Accelerated Reader:
Reading Level: 5
Point Value: 5
Interest Level: Upper Grade
Quiz #/Name: 68644 / When the Emperor Was Divine

Award: Green Mountain Book Award - Nominee

Review Citation(s):
New York Times 11/02/2003 pg. 32
Kliatt 01/01/2004 pg. 19

About the Author
Julie Otsuka was born and raised in California. She is a graduate of Yale University and received her M.F.A. from Columbia. She lives in New York City.

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