• Japon, 1919.
    Un bateau quitte l'Empire du Levant avec à son bord plusieurs dizaines de jeunes femmes promises à des Japonais travaillant aux États-Unis, toutes mariées par procuration. À la façon d'un choeur antique, leurs voix s'élèvent et racontent leurs misérables vies d'exilées... leur nuit de noces, souvent brutale, leurs rudes journées de travail dans les champs, leurs combats pour apprivoiser une langue inconnue, l'humiliation des Blancs, le rejet par leur progéniture de leur patrimoine et de leur histoire... Une véritable clameur jusqu'au silence de la guerre. Et l'oubli.

    Prix Femina étranger 2012

  • Berkeley, printemps 1942. Une femme et ses deux enfants se préparent à quitter leur maison. Ils ne savent ni où ils vont, ni ce qui les attend. Ils ont seulement appris qu'ils avaient le droit d'emporter avec eux des draps, des couvertures, du linge de maison, des couverts, des assiettes, des bols, des tasses et des vêtements. Leur crime ? Ces paisibles Américains sont d'ascendance japonaise. Après un voyage éreintant qui les mène à Topaz, ils découvrent l'environnement qui sera le leur pendant plusieurs années : un camp envahi par la poussière blanche du désert, des centaines de baraques en papier goudronné écrasées sous un soleil de plomb, des soldats en arme, des fils de fer barbelé, la promiscuité, la sonnerie des sirènes, les jours sans viande, l'odeur des haricots et les repas sans baguette. Il leur est interdit de se chauffer l'hiver, ils sont condamnés à des travaux forcés. Après Hiroshima, les survivants retrouvent leurs habitats vidés de fond en comble et leurs jardins dévastés, subissent l'hostilité de leurs voisins et peinent à trouver du travail. Après tant d'années perdues loin de chez eux, le conflit continue...
    À travers ce roman magistralement mené, Julie Otsuka dénonce l'un des plus grands scandales de la démocratie américaine, rendant dans le même temps hommage à ses propres grands-parents, déportés par le F.B.I. au lendemain de l'attaque de Pearl Harbor. Une première oeuvre de fiction où éclate le talent d'une jeune romancière avec qui le monde des lettres va devoir désormais compter.
    Julie Otsuka est née en 1962 en Californie. En 2002, elle publie Quand l'empereur était un dieu (Phébus, 2004 - 10/18, 2008), qui remporte immédiatement un grand succès critique, laissant présager de l'oeuvre à venir. Elle remporte en 2012 le prix Femina étranger avec son deuxième roman, Certaines n'avaient jamais vu la mer.

  • Longlisted for the Orange Prize for FictionIt is four months after Pearl Harbour and overnight signs appear all over the United States instructing Japanese Americans to report to internment camps for the duration of the war. For one family it proves to be a nightmare of oppression and alienation. Explored from varying points of view - the mother receiving the order to evacuate; the daughter on the long train journey; the son in the desert encampment; the family's return home; and the bitter release of their father after four years in captivity - it tells of an incarceration that will alter their lives for ever.Based on a true story, Julie Otsuka's powerful, deeply humane novel tells of an unjustly forgotten episode in America's wartime history.

  • Julie Otsuka's The Buddha in the Attic, the follow-up to When the Emperor Was Divine was shortlisted for the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and winner of the Pen Faulkner Award for Fiction 2012.Between the first and second world wars a group of young, non-English-speaking Japanese women travelled by boat to America. They were picture brides, clutching photos of husbands-to-be whom they had yet to meet. Julie Otsuka tells their extraordinary, heartbreaking story in this spellbinding and poetic account of strangers lost and alone in a new and deeply foreign land.'Sweeping, symphonic, empathic . . . subtle, infinitely skilful . . . an exhilarating, compulsive read. Otsuka's haunting, heartbreaking conclusion, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, is faultless' Daily Mail'A tender, nuanced, empathetic exploration of the sorrows and consolations of a whole generation of women . . . the distaff equivalent of a war memorial' Daily Telegraph'A haunting and heartbreaking look at the immigrant experience . . . Otsuka's keenly observed prose manages to capture whole histories in a sweep of gorgeous incantatory sentences' Marie Claire'An understated masterpiece... she conjures up the lost voices of a generation of Japanese American women without losing sight of the distinct experience of each' San Francisco ChronicleJulie Otsuka was born and raised in California. She is the author of the novel When the Emperor Was Divine, and a recipient of the Asian American Literary Award, the American Library Association Alex Award, and a Guggenheim fellowship. Her second novel, The Buddha in the Attic, was nominated for the 2011 National Book Award. She lives in New York City.

  • The debut novel from the PEN/Faulkner Award Winning Author of The Buddha in the Attic
    On a sunny day in Berkeley, California, in 1942, a woman sees a sign in a post office window, returns to her home, and matter-of-factly begins to pack her family's possessions. Like thousands of other Japanese Americans they have been reclassified, virtually overnight, as enemy aliens and are about to be uprooted from their home and sent to a dusty internment camp in the Utah desert.
    In this lean and devastatingly evocative first novel, Julie Otsuka tells their story from five flawlessly realized points of view and conveys the exact emotional texture of their experience: the thin-walled barracks and barbed-wire fences, the omnipresent fear and loneliness, the unheralded feats of heroism. When the Emperor Was Divine is a work of enormous power that makes a shameful episode of our history as immediate as today's headlines.

  • Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award For Fiction
    National Book Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
    A New York Times Notable Book
    A 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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