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  • Published: 22 May 2013
  • ISBN: 9780241956489
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: $19.99

The Buddha in the Attic




The long awaited follow-up to When the Emperor Was Divine tells of young Japanese women brought to San Francisco as mail-order brides.

Between the wars a group of young, non-English-speaking Japanese women travelled by boat to America. They were picture brides, clutching photos of husbands-to-be whom they had yet to meet. Julie Otsuka tells their extraordinary, heartbreaking story in this spellbinding and poetic account of strangers lost and alone in a new and deeply foreign land.

  • Published: 22 May 2013
  • ISBN: 9780241956489
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Julie Otsuka

Julie Otsuka was born and raised in California. She is the author of the novel When the Emperor Was Divine and a recipient of the Asian American Literary Award, the American Library Association Alex Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in New York City.

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Praise for The Buddha in the Attic

Sweeping, symphonic, empathic . . . subtle, infinitely skilful . . . an exhilarating, compulsive read. Otsuka's haunting, heartbreaking conclusion, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, is faultless

Daily Mail

Paints a poignant, moving portrait of immigration by deftly weaving together a chorus of voices. Fascinating and tragic in equal measure

Easy Living

A tender, nuanced, empathetic exploration of the sorrows and consolations of a whole generation of women

Telegraph

A haunting and heartbreaking look at the immigrant experience . . . Otsuka's keenly observed prose manages to capture whole histories in a sweep of gorgeous incantatory sentences

Marie Claire

Novels written in the first person plural are rare. It's a narrative device that gives The Buddha in the Attic a deliciously melancholy quality . . . Powerful, lyrical and almost unbearably sad

Psychologies

Powerfully moving . . . intensely lyrical . . . verges on the edge of poetry

Independent

The tone is often incantatory, and though the language is direct, unconvoluted, almost without metaphor, its true and very unusual merit lies, I think, in that indefinable quality we call poetry

Ursula Le Guin, Guardian

A kind of collective memoir that squeezes volumes of experience into a small space . . . more than a history lesson because Otsuka compresses the individual emotions into one haunting story

The Times

Her trick is to sum up a few life story in a few tantalising sentences, moving on to the next at lightning speed. The result is panoramic, each line opening a window on to the world of one woman after another, pinpointing each one's hopes and happiness or misery and pain

Sunday Express

Intriguing . . . fleeting, singular images pile up and reverberate against each other to strange, memorable effect

Metro

Spare but resonant, powerful, evocative

The New York Times Book Review

Spare and stunning . . . Otsuka has created a tableau as intricate as the pen strokes her humble immigrant girls learned to use in letters to loved ones they'd never see again

Oprah Magazine

A delicate, heartbreaking portrait . . . beautifully rendered . . . Otsuka's prose is precise and rich with imagery. [Readers] will finish this exceptional book profoundly moved.

Publishers Weekly

This chorus of narrators speaks in a poetry that is both spare and passionate, sure to haunt even the most coldhearted among us

Chicago Tribune

A stunning feat of empathetic imagination and emotional compression, capturing the experience of thousands of women

Vogue

A lithe stunner

Elle

To watch Emperor catching on with teachers and students in vast numbers is to grasp what must have happened at the outset for novels like Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird

The New York Times on When the Emperor was Divine

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