The Buddha in the Attic

The Buddha in the Attic

Julie Otsuka’s long-awaited follow-up to When the Emperor Was Divine is a tour de force of economy and precision, a novel that tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century ago.

In eight incantatory sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the picture brides’ extraordinary lives, from their arduous journey by boat, where they exchange photographs of their husbands, imagining uncertain futures in an unknown land; to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields and scrubbing the floors of white women; to their struggles to master a new language and a new culture; to their experiences in childbirth, and then as mothers, raising children who will ultimately reject their heritage and their history; to the deracinating arrival of war.

Title:The Buddha in the Attic
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780307700001
Format Type:

    The Buddha in the Attic Reviews

  • Jen

    Some of us will like the book. Some of us won't. Some of us will find the constant plural first person narrative terribly annoying, wondering if any group of people can be so cohesive and 'one' that t...

  • Brina

    I read The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka as part of my women's history month lineup. A well researched, historical fictional account, Otsuka depicts life for Japanese American immigrants to Cali...

  • Judy

    After the first chapter of this book, I thought I had hit upon a goldmine of a book and wondered how anyone dared to rate it less than 4 stars. Otsuka draws the reader in by offering up a kaleidoscope...

  • Diane

    This novella has the most lyrical prose I've read in a long, long time. It begins on a boat in the early 1900s, with dozens of young Japanese women who were being shipped to husbands in San Francisco ...

  • Nataliya

    In this slim, delicate, lyrical novel Julie Otsuka unflinchingly and confidently does something that really is not supposed to work for Western readers, those bred in the culture of stark individualis...

  • Chris

    My father served in World War 2, Korea and Viet Nam. He never really talked too much about any of these wars. When we talked about World War 2 the only thing he said was that the American Government's...

  • J.I.

    It truly boggles the mind all of the attention this book has gotten. The premise is very simple: told in the first person plural, the stories of the women who were brought over from Japan before WW2, ...

  • Michael

    This short 100-page read felt to me like riding in a human river and feeling magically a part of it. Otsuka enjoins the reader to flow with the voices of Japanese women from their sea passage to San F...

  • Darwin8u

    Because the only way to resist, our husbands had taught us, was by not resisting. Julie Otsuka, The Buddha in the AtticI read entirely too much white male fiction. I know this. It is familiar and ava...

  • Iris P

    The Buddha in the Attic What a mesmerizing reading experience this was. I don't recall reading a historical novel as emotionally intuitive and empathetic as this one in a long time.I was moved to read...