Monday, July 23, 2012
The Bhudda in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
While not very long, the book manages to--cleverly--tell hundreds of stories via plural-first-person POV (think Greek chorus). Instead of I, it's we. Otsuka did a lot of research to create the stories, all told at the same time, of women, and by extension, of their families and struggles. I found it tough to read, at times, because of the harshness of (at least some of) the stories, as the women found their way into farm work and, later, to internment camps, but also very poetic and beautiful while addressing identity, erasure, and culture. The voice won't be for everyone; I just now looked at a few reviews, and saw that some readers felt it read more like a laundry list--so as with any review of mine, YMMV.