When the Emperor Was Divine

By Julie Otsuka
Binding:Paperback
Publisher:Anchor, (10/14/2003)
Language:English



Average Rating:
Mildly Unleashable
2.00 out of 5 (1 Clubie's ratings)


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Julie Otsuka’s commanding debut novel paints a portrait of the Japanese internment camps unlike any we have ever seen. With crystalline intensity and precision, Otsuka uses a single family to evoke the deracination—both physical and emotional—of a generation of Japanese Americans. In five chapters, each flawlessly executed from a different point of view—the mother receiving the order to evacuate; the daughter on the long train ride to the camp; the son in the desert encampment; the family’s return to their home; and the bitter release of the father after more than four years in captivity—she has created a small tour de force, a novel of unrelenting economy and suppressed emotion. Spare, intimate, arrestingly understated, When the Emperor Was Divine is a haunting evocation of a family in wartime and an unmistakably resonant lesson for our times. It heralds the arrival of a singularly gifted new novelist.


From the Hardcover edition.
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E's Reads's thoughts on "When the Emperor Was Divine"
updated on:9/3/2009

5/09 This book was alright-- was about the Japanese camps after WWII. I wanted to like it more. The characters didn't have names so I had a hard time really connecting to them.

Mildly Unleashable


"When the Emperor Was Divine"
By Julie Otsuka

Average Rating:
Mildly Unleashable
2.00 out of 5 (1 Clubie's ratings)


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