Monday, March 26, 2012

Buddha in the Attic

is not a novel in the traditional sense.
It is written in such an elegant, sparse style of prose,
this book almost seems like poetry.
The story begins with a group of young Japanese women
traveling from their homeland to San Francisco,
nearly a hundred years ago to marry, sight unseen,
Japanese men waiting for them.
There is no "main character" here,
but rather a chorus of narrators who share
their "lists of experiences" from their arrival,
meetings and marriages,
jobs, ranging from farm laborers, to business owners,
births and raising of children,
to assimilation into American life,
usually as outsiders.
Their experiences continue to the beginning of the
second World War and
the passing of anti-Japanese laws,
concluding with their forced removal to 
internment camps. 
With broad stokes, and very little detail,
Otsuka totally conveys their heartbreaking stories.

1 comment:

NanaDiana said...

That sounds like a wonderful book. For some reason it made me think of the stories of Pearl Buck...although hers were quite wordy but she painted SUCH a picture (of China). Thanks for the review-Diana

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