The Buddha in the AtticThis novel deals with an unknown subject. In the early twentieth century, Japanese girls and women immigrated from Japan to San Francisco as « picture brides », to get marry to Japanese men they had never met. The trauma of the trip was followed by disillusion even if these new husbands were the women’s only link to their homeland.

A language that has the force and the fury of lyrics and poetry. Otsuka writes in the first personal plural, instead of a single, named protagonist, through a series of thematic chapters and glimpse individual stories through the layering of collective experience. A choir of women united in the same destiny. A simple and clear writing, and an original narrative way that takes us with them. On the boat, some of them were exchanging photographs of their new husbands, imagining uncertain futures in an unknown land, some of them left their native country and their family hoping to get a better life, some of them were not even fourteen years old and were still virgin … How to not wish to read it?

The Buddha in the Attic – Julie Otsuka – Published by Knopf 2011

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