kindle Æ The Buddha in the Attic Û 144 pages

Julie Otsuka ✓ The Buddha in the Attic ePub

kindle Æ The Buddha in the Attic Û 144 pages Ù ❴Reading❵ ➶ The Buddha in the Attic Author Julie Otsuka – Gwairsoft.co.uk Julie Otsuka’s long awaited follow up to When the Emperor Was Divine is a tour de force of economy and precision a novel that tells the story of a group of young women brought 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 w “Because the only way to resist our husbands had taught us was by not resisting” ― Julie Otsuka The Buddha in the AtticI read entirely too much white male fiction I know this It is familiar and available Abundant even It is everywhere So I'm trying to reach beyond my normal boundaries Read minority voices listen to another story Otherwise what good is fiction?Julie Otsuka's little novella was uick It checks in at 124 pages or so But it sticks with you It carries you It doesn't have one narrator but a chorus of Japanese woman who immigrated to America in the early 20th century as mail order brides for Japanese laborers in California She follows this beautiful and tragic chorus of woman through a new country a new culture new husbands work loneliness work marriage work children work racism and eventually the FDR's Japanese Concentration Camps of WWII Executive Order 9066Newly married living in Utah I traveled to Delta Utah with my wife and walked around the Topaz War Relocation Center It was haunting The images of dust and isolation came back to me 25 years later as I read this book It was written in 2011 but seems to warn us against the fear we seem to always have of the other Mexicans Muslims Japanese blacks etc We cage them because we don't recognize they are us One of the lines that struck me the most from this short book was on page 124 It was the mayor of a California town speaking after the Japanese have been hauled away Some of the words however came from a speech by Donald Rumsfeld in October of 2001 before Guantanamo was a household word before kids in cages before black sites and waterboarding became associated with America There will be some things that people will see he tells us And there will be some things that people won't see These things happen And life goes onCertainly life will go on but Otsuka's haunting prose; her beautiful narrative mantras; the pulsing rhythm of her Japanese chorus of women; her FPP anonymous narrators will all haunt me for a long time Although a completely different book I was reminded several times while reading this novella of O'Brien's The Things They Carried

reader · The Buddha in the Attic ✓ Julie Otsuka

Julie Otsuka’s long awaited follow up to When the Emperor Was Divine is a tour de force of economy and precision a novel that tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century agoIn eight incantatory sections The Buddha in the I read The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka as part of my women's history month lineup A well researched historical fictional account Otsuka depicts life for Japanese American immigrants to California over a span of thirty years in the early 20th century Featuring mail order brides who came to San Francisco to meet their husbands for the first time Otsuka gives a voice to a people whose story would otherwise be lost The women came from all over Japan to sail on a steamship to meet their husbands While huddled and seasick in the ship's hold these women formed instant friendships that they hoped would last once they reached America Hoping that life in America would yield a better future than that as a rice farmer the women as young as twelve willingly left behind their families for husbands they only saw in photographsLife in America according to Otsuka was not the American dream depicted in letters The issei first generation Japanese immigrants worked backbreaking jobs as migrant farmers If they didn't farm they became maids or washerwoman The women who were rejected by either these jobs or their new husbands turned to prostitution The Japanese were lumped with African Americans Mexicans Chinese and other immigrants as people of color and were forced to do jobs that caucasians would not do As this was during the Jim Crow era they also got paid meager earnings for working backbreaking jobs Yet these women and their husbands endured in hopes that their children would have a better life than the one they toiled at Although slim in length Otsuka places this story in a larger historical context by focusing on placing the Japanese in internment camps following the bombing of Pearl Harbor The issei and their nissei second generation American children were viewed as the enemies of the people Placed on lists and rounded up in the middle of the night they were taken away for the duration of the war They packed slim suitcases and left behind valuables even heirlooms such as the Buddha left behind in an attic The government did not differentiate between the Japanese overseas and American citizens about to enter Stanford as their high school valedictorian Despite being briefly mentioned I was most moved by this sectionJulie Otsuka has earned an Asian American Literature Prize for her writing Buddha in the Attic is a small volume but touches on a key 20th century historical event I wished that Otsuka would have gone in depth in telling the stories of women who trekked across an ocean to meet husbands who they might not be compatible with Using telling language Otsuka creates a poignant prose I would be interested in reading her other novel and I rate the novella Buddha in the Attic a solid 375 stars

ePub The Buddha in the Attic

The Buddha in the AtticAttic traces the picture brides’ 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 This novella has the most lyrical prose I've read in a long long time It begins on a boat in the early 1900s with dozens of young Japanese women who were being shipped to husbands in San Francisco to begin new lives The women didn't know it yet but they had been sold a bill of goods They had been promised that their husbands were successful handsome and rich and that they would love living in America but the truth is they would become migrant workers in California and that the women might have been better off staying home in Japan with their families The book gives a breathless kaleidoscopic account of the women's hopes and fears and the hard working lives for which they settledI will share the opening paragraph because I think it is gorgeous On the boat we were mostly virgins We had long black hair and flat wide feet and we were not very tall Some of us had eaten nothing but rice gruel as young girls and had slightly bowed legs and some of us were only fourteen years old and were still young girls ourselves Some of us came from the city and wore stylish city clothes but many of us came from the country and on the boat we wore the same old kimonos we'd been wearing for years faded hand me downs from our sisters that had been patched and redyed many times Some of us came from the mountains and had never before seen the sea except for in pictures and some of us were the daughters of fishermen who had been around the sea all our lives Perhaps we had lost a brother or father to the sea or a fiance or perhaps someone we loved had jumped into the water one unhappy morning and simply swum away and now it was time for us too to move onAnother section I loved is from the first chapter about where the women came from Some of us on the boat were from Kyoto and were delicate and fair and had lived our entire lives in darkened rooms at the back of the house Some of us were from Nara and prayed to our ancestors three times a day and swore we could still hear the temple bells ringing Some of us were from Hiroshima which would later explode and were lucky to be on the boat at all though of course we did not then know itAfter the sea voyage the stories progress to how the husbands treated their wives and the children that followed and the hard work they endured And US history being what it is we eventually arrive at the bombing of Pearl Harbor but I don't think that name was ever mentioned and the last 50 pages of the book show their shock at suddenly being labeled traitors and the fear mongering that persisted and by the end the Japanese have disappeared from the town I thought it was a nice touch that in her acknowledgments Otsuka admits having reappropriated some lines of dialogue from Donald Rumsfeld in 2001 and inserted them as the mayor in 1941 Same principles different warI hope I haven't made the book sound gloomy I actually found it inspiring and full of beauty and hope Would I have had the courage to sail off to a foreign land and a strange husband at such a young age? I doubt it Update December 2013I reread this for book club and was still amazed at how beautiful the writing is Each sentence is its own little story and it's so rich and visual that I was utterly absorbed in the prose I highly recommend this and I'm excited to look up other books by OtsukaFirst read March 2012Second read December 2013