juliette_m_m (juliette_m_m) wrote,

When The Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

This was, and will remain a very special book to me for a variety of reasons. Sent from one of my bookish friends (thank you so much Jill) across the pond, having been previously read by another mutual friend (dear Laura) this book epitomises all that has been so wonderful about my venture into sharing reading lives through the internet. Here, I am thinking of so much more than the act of reading books. We are learning, not simply about the facts, the history and geography of place but about the viewpoints of others and the expansion of horizons that even as an educationalist committed to life long learning never ceases to amaze me.        
Written from the point of view of unnamed characters this short elegantly written novel taught me about events that were previously unknown to me. How can writing be so direct yet so deep and unashamedly honest, almost point blank? There were moments when it felt as if this was not a work of fiction and with a sudden jerk you are catapulted into the reality that this did actually happen to real people and all not so very long ago.  As someone who has read a number of wartime experience type of books I realised that I was woefully ignorant about the plight of American Japanese aliens during the second world war.  Do read this wonderful work - you will not be disappointed.
I wonder how we can learn from this novel … wherever we are in the world …       
Tags: 888, book around the world, caught my eye

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