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About the Book
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Joy Kogawa - Author
Kerri Sakamoto - Introduction by
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Book: Paperback | 210 x 133mm | 288 pages | ISBN 9780143055020 | 04 Apr 2006 | Penguin Canada | Adult

"An internationally acclaimed, widely studied novel firmly entrenched in the Canadian literary canon."
—Kerri Sakamoto

A powerful and passionate novel, Obasan tells, through the eyes of a child, the moving story of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. Naomi is a sheltered and beloved five-year-old when Pearl Harbor changes her life. Separated from her mother, she watches bewildered as she and her family become enemy aliens, persecuted and despised in their own land. Surrounded by hardship and pain, Naomi is protected by the resolute endurance of her aunt Obasan and the silence of those around her. Only after Naomi grows up does she return to question the haunting silence.

"Obasan's power comes from the beauty of the writing, the stark imagery and vivid symbolism, and from the calm recitation of events that destroyed families, a culture, and a way of life."
—The Globe and Mail

"...Kogawa’s lyrical and moving novel sheds light on the Canadian government’s racist policies toward Japanese Canadians during the Second World War."
Toronto Star

"...demands that we take a closer look at the myth of the multicultural nation..."
Toronto Star