MY BOOK WORLD
In this spare novel told by way of the first person plural, Otsuka reveals the collective story of Japanese women who are duped into coming to the United States to marry handsome men looking nothing like their photographs. Then readers learn of their collective story, as these women and their husbands (and offspring) toil virtually as slaves in a place called J-town on behalf of California agriculture. Otsuka even takes us to the point in history when Japanese-Americans are rounded up and are entrained to detention camps “over the mountains” into states like Nevada, Utah, and Idaho, to sit out World War II as prisoners of war. These people lose everything, and, except for decades later, when their descendants may receive a token amount of $20,000 in reparations, these poor, hardworking people never receive recompense for the misery they were made to suffer because of certain Americans’ racist and provincial attitudes. A tragic story made beautiful by way of the author’s portrayal of this betrayed but noble race.
TUES: A Writer's Wit | Anna Dostoyevskaya
WEDS: A Writer's Wit | Judith Martin
THURS: A Writer's Wit | Anne Bernays
FRI: My Book World | Michael Ventura, If I Was a Highway