In conjunction with the community-wide Winter Read of the novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, this year’s Community Library Winter Book Group will focus on three books about Japanese history and culture in the American West, with particular attention to the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans at camps throughout the West, including Minidoka in southcentral Idaho.
We will begin with the novel The Buddha in the Attic, which tells stories of young mail-order brides who traveled from the U.S. to Japan at the turn of the century. Then we will read the memoir Farewell to Manzanar for the account of a woman who was incarcerated as a young girl at a camp in California. We will conclude with the novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a story that imagines the friendship between a young Chinese American boy and a Japanese American girl in Seattle during WWII.
Collectively, these books invite us to consider themes of exile, civil liberties, and personal reinvention, as well as many other topics for discussion.
No advanced registration is required. Participants are encouraged to bring a copy of the book to each session.
The discussion will be led by Jenny Emery Davidson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 23 General introduction and first pages of The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
January 30 The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
February 6 Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
February 13 Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
February 20 Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
February 27 Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford