The Buddha in the Attic

The Buddha in the Attic is a short historical novel about a group of Japanese women who travel to the United States in the early years of the twentieth century to marry men they have never met.  The women come from different parts of Japan, some from big cities and others from small villages.  On the long journey across the ocean, these differences divide them, yet once they land in America, their lives are all shaped by the same disappointments and disruptions. 

"We gave birth under oak trees, in summer, in 113-degree heat.  We gave birth beside woodstoves in one-room shacks on the coldest nights of the year.  We gave birth on windy islands in the Delta, six months after we arrived, and the babies were tiny, and translucent, and after three days they died."

Julie Otsuka is the author of When the Emperor Was Divine and The Buddha in the Attic.  Her writing has been widely published, including in Granta, Harper's, and numerous anthologies.  She lives in New York.

Published:  2011
144 pages
Set in: 
San Francisco, California, United States