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When the emperor was divine by Julie Otsuka

I can't remember who told me to read this book. I wish I could so I might thank them. It is set four months after Pearl Harbor, when signs begin appearing up and down the West Coast instructing all persons of Japanese ancestry to report to 'assembly centers'. It is based on a true story about a forgotten generation who found themselves imprisoned in their own country, and evokes an unjustly overlooked episode in America's wartime history. I can't recommend it enough.





From the back


'A compelling, powerful portrait of a terrible endurance. Terrific' The Times


Four months after Pearl Harbor, signs begin appearing up and down the West Coast instructing all persons of Japanese ancestry to report to 'assembly centers'. For one family - reclassified, virtually overnight, as unwelcome enemies - it is the beginning of a nightmare of oppression and alienation that will alter their lives forever.


There is the mother, reeling from the order to 'evacuate', and the daughter, travelling on the long train journey away from freedom. There is the son, who struggles to adapt to their new life in the dust of the Utah desert, and the father, who, after four bitter years in captivity, returns to his family a stranger.


Based on a true story, Julie Otsuka's powerful, deeply humane first novel tells of a forgotten generation who found themselves imprisoned in their own country, and evokes an unjustly overlooked episode in America's wartime history.


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