internment camp

The Buddha in the Attic

By Julie Otsuka
Rated by Sam S.
Jul 19, 2017

The Buddha in the Attic is a short novel depicting the lives and struggles of Japanese mail-order brides arriving in America in the years leading up to World War II. It is not one central story that follows a single character--or even a few. Instead, the author uses the first person plural narrative style (through the use of "we" and "our") to tell the stories of countless, mostly nameless women. The narrative begins on the boats, as the young girls share their dreams for the unknown future, and continues with their lives in America as they struggle to adapt to a new land and a new language

Nov 22, 2011

This book takes us to the early 1900s when male Japanese immigrant field workers were requesting so called mail order brides, where both parties were known to each other only via letters and pictures exchanged through the mail.  In many instances the groom’s pictures were not even his real image, as they wanted to cover up their poverty and portray themselves as wealthy and handsome. Upon the brides’ arrival they found themselves living in shacks and working long, backbreaking hours to pick vegetables or fruits under the hot California sun.

This fiction book is a collection of memories of all