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The Buddha in the Attic
The Buddha in the Attic | Julie Otsuka
Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award For FictionNational Book Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize FinalistA New York Times Notable BookA gorgeous novel by the celebrated author of When the Emperor Was Divine 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 unforgettable sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the extraordinary lives of these women, from their arduous journeys by boat, to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; from their experiences raising children who would later reject their culture and language, to the deracinating arrival of war. Once again, Julie Otsuka has written a spellbinding novel about identity and loyalty, and what it means to be an American in uncertain times.
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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

Told deftly from the first person plural POV, this book shows the breadth of experiences of Japanese picture brides and the apathy of white Americans toward Japanese-American internment in WWII. I‘m usually skeptical of this style of POV, but there‘s a richness of experience shown here. This is really good.

48 likes2 stack adds
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KathyWheeler
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Pickpick

There‘s never any one character to follow in the Otsuka books I‘ve read — there‘s the collective experience instead. This book tells the stories of Japanese women brought over to the US to marry and work. We watch them marry, work, have children, and then be viewed as traitors after Pearl Harbor, and leave for the internment camps — all told from the pov of the women. The final part was especially powerful and is told from a different pov.

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JackieGreco
Pickpick

The Buddha in the Attic was a powerful story about Japanese women leading up to and during the First World War. The story was about all of the women and written by the voice of the group rather than one woman. 4/5

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KathyWheeler
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I‘m worn out from an all day meeting today, so I‘m just sitting here in my bed reading The Buddha in the Attic.

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Onioons
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“Soon we could barely recognize them. They were taller than we were, and heavier. They were loud beyond belief. I feel like a duck that's hatched goose's eggs.”

#alphabetgame #letterB

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rmaclean4
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Pickpick

Love her writing in the choral voice. This breif book about Japanese internment was effecting but it also held me at arms length. 3 🌟

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sailu112
Pickpick

This is the most unique and loving book I‘ve read this year. I love that it‘s a multi person narrative not a singular narrative. This is a story about 8 women who end up going to America from Japan. Definitely recommend this book

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rmaclean4
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July Bookspin. Excited for both these novels! Thank you @TheAromaofBooks for this fun TBR tackle every month!!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Good luck!! 3mo
10 likes1 comment
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NovelNancyM
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Mehso-so

While the writing style is interesting, I did not care for this book as much as When the Emperor was Divine. I am looking forward to reading The Swimmers.

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reclusivepigeon
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College has officially dominated my every waking moment when I‘m not at work 😮‍💨 however, the reading for my Multicultural American Lit class almost feels like a break

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Neen32
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Pickpick

Great book that starts with mail order brides from Japan and follows the group through their lives in the United States. Written with interwoven narratives (which at first was challenging but i grew to like), the author explores the immigrant experience, racism and personal identity. Particularly moving is in the look at the Japanese interment during WW 2, I really felt it in a visceral way. Excellent read.

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violabrain
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Pickpick

Wow, this slim book will stay with me for a long time. It traces the lives of the Japanese picture brides from their journey to the US through the Japanese internment in World War II. Unforgettable and beautiful prose.

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Come-read-with-me
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Pickpick

This was a deeply moving story about Japanese “war brides” told in a pluralized first person narrative. The agony of their arduous journeys from Japan to the U.S. were described in a heart breaking, almost poetic manner. Their great expectations were shattered as they lived in silent submissiveness based on tradition but exploited by the British realities of their new lives. Heartbreaking. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Buechersuechtling I “read” this as audiobook and was impressed. So different but unique. A book that can‘t be forgotten if you ask me. And it was so … You know, I didn‘t even know “war brides” existed. 2y
la_rose_noire I loved this one so much!!! 2y
Come-read-with-me @Buechersuechtling It is an unforgettable read. The concept of war brides always blows my mind. I can‘t imagine making that move. 2y
Come-read-with-me @la_rose_noire Me too - I think it‘s on my top 10 list. 2y
MaleficentBookDragon I really liked this book. 2y
70 likes4 stack adds5 comments
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kellock
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Pickpick

And book #32 of 2020 is done. Not what you'd call traditional fiction but instead a narrative detailing many peoples experiences of being Japanese and arriving in the US. It my be short but the way it was written does pack in a lot of detail. I enjoyed it.

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kellock
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Pretty sure I can squeeze in book #32 of 2020 before end of play tomorrow. It is only 129 pages.

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rachelk
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Pickpick

Historical fiction told in first person plural with sections that span from ‘picture brides‘ leaving home in Japan for the unknowns of the U.S. to leaving homes in the U.S. for the unknowns of internment camps. Otsuka beautifully portrays many experiences in a brief number of pages but does not form a traditional ‘story‘, which might bother some readers. Personally, I thought it worked.

Amiable I really liked this one, too. 2y
Come-read-with-me Thought this was great read. 2y
48 likes2 comments
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Buechersuechtling
Wovon wir trumten | Julie Otsuka
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Reservation 2 of 6 that dropped in from the library (during the last few) days:

Clear. ✅

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Buechersuechtling
Wovon wir trumten | Julie Otsuka
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Pickpick

The more you read, the more impressive it gets. It‘s wittily woven. 👏🏼 But I must admit that the “story” only really grabbed me when you figure out that WWII has begun. That‘s were my rating results in. What Otsuka described then was totally new to me. So much for “land of the free”. 😟 *sigh*
It‘s always “homo homini lupus”.

I researched that Otsuka tells about the sources she used. Why are epilogues never included in audiobooks❓😟

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Buechersuechtling
Wovon wir trumten | Julie Otsuka
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While on recovery, I‘m continuing this book about Japanese women who were sent to the U. S. to marry wealthy men – which soon turns out to be a pretext to get new workers.

I like the testimonial aspect of the narration but sometimes miss a “straight” plot. It‘s a bit taking pieces from everywhere and that causes weird jumps in topics sometimes.

Let me thank you for all your support and encouraging words yesterday. They made me feel warm. 🤗

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Buechersuechtling
Wovon wir trumten | Julie Otsuka
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#WoundrousWednesday-time again thanks to @Eggs and @RamsFan1963 ‼️ I missed a few thanks to life and especially work getting in the way of my social life and leisure time. But here I am again.

1) Aus-tra-li-a 🇦🇺‼️ Why❓ This https://bit.ly/2Vz88KV documentary.

2) No hosted reading challenges for me this month (pressure) but I really hope to get all, or at least most, of the 5 library books in, that dropped (and still drop) in the last days.

EadieB Thanks for the tag! 2y
Eggs Wonderful! Thanks for joining in 📚🤗🥰 2y
DaveGreen7777 Thank you for the tag! 😁 2y
16 likes3 comments
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la_rose_noire
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Pickpick

💯
I'm in love with this book. It's so different from anything I've ever read. It tells the journey of Japanese picture brides in a first-person plural voice. 💗

Bren912 Sounds interesting!! 2y
JennyM This has been sitting on my TBR pile for a long time! You make me want to finally pick it up. Glad you enjoyed 😊 2y
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la_rose_noire
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This is by far the best book I've read in 2020! And I'm only halfway through it. 😍 #currentlyreading #japan #historicalfiction

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Jgotham
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Bailedbailed

I tried but I bailed. I couldn‘t get past the format. There was never a character to connect with-I think I was hoping more for a Memoirs of a Geisha type book. Look at how often there is a “we” or “us”. The story may be good but I couldn‘t concentrate or feel for any one character.

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Jgotham
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Having a cold brew nitro while starting this new book about “picture brides” from Japan.

Megabooks This is a good book about picture brides in Hawaii 2y
Linear Whats a picture bride? 2y
Jgotham @Linear it‘s a bride who is marched and meets her husband overseas by picture then they immigrate to the new home 2y
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TheHeartlandBookFairy
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Pickpick



This book was lyrical and poetic, beautifully written! Although this book is fiction (historical fiction), It highlights the injustices imposed upon Japanese immigrants and in particular Japanese women in America. From arriving in San Francisco and meeting their new husbands for the first time, to working their fingers to the bone in the fields. From bearing children to burying children... Cont in comments
Book 7 for #15 books15 weeks

TheHeartlandBookFairy From bearing children to burying children, from being abused and being taken care of. For enduring so much and then enduring the war. To be stripped of nearly everything and then to be taken from their homes. From being remembered to being forgotten. Julie Otsuka writes beautiful stories and this small book will have a big impact on all those who read it.

2y
janeycanuck What a pretty photo! 2y
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LeafingThroughLife
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Happy Friday everyone! I took today off despite my better instincts (or perhaps because of them?) and hope to spend at least part of it finishing this book.
It has the distinction of being the first book I think I‘ve ever read that is written entirely in the first person plural POV. And I really really like it.

BookNAround I thought this one was so gorgeous! 3y
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SShiney
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Pickpick

Loved this book! Such a great synthesis of research and economy of words. I wish I could learn about all history in this format.

Zelma She is one of my favorite authors. 3y
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Kerrbearlib
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Pickpick

A haunting story about Japanese women brought to San Francisco as “picture brides” a century ago. It chronicles their lives from their trips on the boats to meeting their husbands & having children and finally to them being sent to the WWII Japanese internment camps. A beautifully-written & heartbreaking book.

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Booksbymybed
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Pickpick

Powerful read for sure

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Amiable
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Pickpick

A slim novel that packs a big punch. It's the story of a group of women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century ago. Each chapter details their lives. The author tells the women's stories in the first-person plural ("we") throughout, which I thought would irritate me but which I found really added to the universality of the women's stories. Using "we" made the stories that much more powerful, in my opinion.

BookNAround I read this years ago but remember it being an amazing book. 4y
Amiable @BookNAround I was mesmerized by the prose--it was so good. 4y
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derr.liz
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"This is America, we would say to ourselves, there is no need to worry. And we would be wrong."

What a heartwrenching historical portrayal of immigrant stories. The lessons are as relevant as ever today.

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Wife
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Pickpick

I can‘t write a better review than @BiblioNyan So check out her post for details, but I listened to the audiobook on my drives to and from work this weekend and it was the most unique and moving story. I can‘t believe a story that had no main character could have me in tears. I definitely recommend the audio version 🎧. I will look for a used copy for my #keeper shelf. ❤️

BiblioNyan Thank you so much for your kind words. 💜 I‘m glad you enjoyed the book. It‘s quite powerful. Have a lovely day/evening. ☺️ 4y
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BiblioNyan
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Pickpick

🏵Story‘s told in 8 sections about JPN picture brides who came over to US to marry JPN men based entirely on photographs.
🏵Poignantly poetic & lyrical prose.
🏵Straightforward tone makes the reality of the women‘s experience haunting, genuine, & intensely emotional.
🏵Sheds light on a very important part of Japanese history in America, one that‘s never spoken of or taught about.
🏵Succinct yet marvellously expansive.
🏵4.75/5

#japaneselit

LiteraryinLawrence Wonderful review! 4y
BiblioNyan @LiteraryinLititz Thank you so much! 💕 4y
19 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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vlwelser
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Scorpion Bowl. Because book club.

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April
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Mehso-so

Just finished this short novel. It was beautifully written and felt more like poetry to me than prose. Interestingly, it was told in a collective we, which made it hard to connect to any one character (there aren't characters in the traditional sense) but it did make for a unique reading experience that spoke to a collective, cultural experience. Lots of trauma here that culminates in the horrific internment of Japanese Americans. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Sharpeipup
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With the first rain in a good while, this book's cover seemed appropriate for the #weather especially given my matching umbrella. #aprilbookshowers

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BiblioNyan
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Adult #fiction #BookHaul that's all #OwnVoices & #DiverseBooks about #China & #Japan! My most-anticipated is #TheBuddhaInTheAttic, which is a #HistoricalFiction novel about a group of young women who were "picture brides" brought over to San Francisco from Japan. There are 8 sections chronicling the journeys of these women! It's written by #JulieOtsuka who also wrote #WhenTheEmperorWasDivine, which is a tale of Japanese Internment in Utah.
? ?

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BooksForEmpathy
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@Johanna414 Wow. My heart is bursting with your kindness and your thoughtful and deliberate book choices for ME ❤️.

I do not own any of these - nor have I heard of 2 of them! Reading the descriptions I must say, you GET me. My family/partner/friends don't buy me books w/out a specific list from me beforehand, so these surprises are 😍🙌🏻. Thank you.

I'm sorry I didn't post earlier, it was my first day of class and I just got home for dinner!

BooksForEmpathy @BookishMarginalia Thank you for organizing this beautiful exchange!!! Can't wait for the next one!!!! #cupidgoespostal 6y
ClairesReads Ah Lark and Termite is wonderful!!! 6y
Johanna414 I'm so happy you like them! I had a list of about 10 books I wanted to get you - the hardest part was narrowing it down! 6y
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BooksForEmpathy @Johanna414 OMG! I would love to hear the other books! Judging from these picks, you have great taste and mad skillzzz in finding amazing books!! I am impressed. 6y
Johanna414 I think it comes with the librarian territory - my job is to help kids find books they'll like ;) I'll see if I can find the rest of the list I had made up for you (edited) 6y
168 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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slategreyskies
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#17booklove #redbooks I'm surprised I had so few books with red spines. I expected there would be more. ❤🍓❤

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BookInMyHands
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Pickpick

I absolutely loved this story.

Following a group of young Japanese women brought to San Francisco as picture brides, the narrative continues through life's milestones up to their internment during WWII.

Using first person plural, the narrative spans the lives of many women, a fascinating way to experience a breadth of experiences.

#notawhiteprotagonist
#immigrationstories

Penny_LiteraryHoarders Agreed! So beautifully and uniquely told. 6y
OrangeMooseReads This was a good one. 6y
57 likes8 stack adds2 comments
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Melli
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Got this in the used book store today

Melli Omg see I knew I owned it I wanted to read it but I can't find it.. 6y
10 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Sonnie
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Me this afternoon:
-looks at calendar- "Oh crap, I have book club tomorrow??"
-looks at book's page count- "Oh, nevermind, that's fine."

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alisonrose
Pickpick

Absolutely painfully beautiful and poignantly heartbreaking. I love the writing style she used - felt very much like reading someone's journal or letters. And this is an incredibly urgent bit of history that a lot of people today ought to be made to study...especially a certain vile orange-faced hatemonger (not that he's capable of reading anything longer than a tweet). We should want to be better than these darkest parts of our past 😞 5/5⭐️

AStoriedSoul Preach! This book and a couple other dystopians are books I've lately grown to love a whole lot more fervently due to the Orange Spectre and the hate I see around me. 6y
alisonrose @TheLiterarium the Orange Spectre 😂😂😂😂😂 6y
AStoriedSoul 😂 that's what he's getting called by me for the next four years. 😩 6y
28 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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alisonrose

Or was their guilt written plainly, and for all the world to see, across their face? Was it their face, in fact, for which they were guilty? Did it fail to please in some way? Worse yet, did it offend?

DyAnne That book is so beautiful and so heart-breaking. 6y
alisonrose @DyAnne it really is! 6y
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alisonrose
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Smrloomis LOVED THIS! 👍🏽 6y
LeahBergen Pretty! 6y
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ozma.of.oz
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This is my second Julie Otsuka book. Otsuka has a style of writing that is very precise and evocative, almost feeling like prose poetry. Not a single word is unnecessary in her books. #immigrantstories #booktober @RealLifeReading

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CynCruz23
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I'm instantly captivated by this story. The narrative style is so interesting and compelling, I was immediately able to picture all the different "picture brides" with their struggles and triumphs. It's pretty amazing how compact the writing is while still delivering a huge emotional punch. Can't believe this book is so short, I'm halfway done and I've only been reading for about an hour ?

Onioons Loved this! 6y
22 likes2 stack adds1 comment