Book - 2011
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During World War II, Canada interned citizens of Japanese descent, just as the United States did. Here, Itani recaptures history through fiction by imagining the story of young Bin Okuma and his family, who were transported from their British Columbia home to a desolate area 100 miles from the "Protected Zone" and only grudgingly given access to food, plumbing, and electricity. Fifty years later, after his wife dies, Bin returns to the area, hoping to find the father whose awful decision at the time nearly destroyed the family.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, c2011
ISBN: 9780802120229
Branch Call Number: Fiction Ita
Characteristics: 317 p. ; 24 cm


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lotuslori_8 Apr 03, 2018

Beautifully written story of a man's journey through his past as he takes a road trip across the country to visit the father that he hasn't seen in 50 years.

Jan 05, 2018

I would recommend this book to those who appreciate slow but beautiful, descriptive, introspective, and reflective reads. Although it is still heart-wrenching to read this account of the injustice that Japanese Canadians faced, this book reflects on this injustice in a manner that is less harsh than other historical fiction narratives. Some people criticize the open nature of the book's ending, but if readers keep their eyes open along the way, readers will pick up on the many clues that Itani intersperses throughout her novel with regards to the degree of emotional healing that Bin will experience.

I particularly enjoyed this beautifully lyrical book. Unlike other historical fiction accounts of the Japanese Canadian Internment, this book brings impersonal facts to life by exploring the emotional effects alongside the physical effects of the internment. Itani's main character, Bin, seems extremely real and human. Despite the enormous scope of pain Bin experiences, this book takes readers on his highly-metaphorical journey to the doorway of healing.

Aug 20, 2014

I really liked this read - the history & writing. I didn't realize that Canadians were also interned & shameful history.

Jul 12, 2014

This is a wonderful book, although I found the reality of the treatment of the West Coast Japanese very upsetting. While ii is a work of fiction, I know from friends who experienced the relocation that descriptions of the events reflect the truth. Ms. Itani has a wonderful way with words. I was captivated throughout.

Jul 15, 2013

completely different - about japanese canadians in bc internment camps. i need to finish this. it just didn't capture me enough.

May 05, 2013

I loved this book and found the characters complex and interesting.
The unresolved grief from his old losses, the recent loss, and the interweaving of the above made for a moving account. The story of the families life in the camp and their struggles afterwords are insightful.
Beautifully told.

MariePat Apr 17, 2013

I did not enjoy this book, I found the plot and characters flat. The subject matter is important to know about because it is part of Canadian history. But bearing that, I could not get into this book. I am going to try Obasan by Joy Kogawa instead.

Sep 27, 2012

Good book. Highly recommend

Sep 22, 2012

Bin Okuma goes on a journey, crossing Canada east to west, revisiting a past that includes his experience as a Japanese internee, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, pushed inland from his family home in a coastal fishing village. He is also grieving for his wife Lena who has recently died and preparing for an exhibit of his paintings.

Itani?s beautiful prose carries a book that lags in plot until about halfway through. It is very much like a requiem. {Listening to Beethoven while you read is completely appropriate!] It is very like reading a recent bestseller, Per Petterson?s Out Stealing Horses. I liked her novel Deafening more.

Aug 02, 2012

Although I learned a little, I did not find the book that insightful.

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