By Joy Kogawa
'Kogawa is a beautiful and elegant writer. '' --THE KINGSTON WHIG-STANDARD''What is for you the breath of life?'' Someday -- itsuka -- Naomi Nakane will answer this question. In OBASAN, Naomi's childhood was torn apart by Canada's betrayal of Japanese Canadian citizens during ... Read more
'Kogawa is a beautiful and elegant writer. '' --THE KINGSTON WHIG-STANDARD''What is for you the breath of life?'' Someday -- itsuka -- Naomi Nakane will answer this question. In OBASAN, Naomi's childhood was torn apart by Canada's betrayal of Japanese Canadian citizens during the 1940s. Now, years later, Naomi's scars have left her fragile and uncertain. Quietly teaching school on the prairies, she watches as her family slips away from her. When Naomi's Aunt Emily brings her to Toronto and, almost unwillingly, encourages her to become involved in the Japanese Canadian fight for redress, Naomi embarks on an emotional and political journey that takes her deep into her own soul, and deep into the soul of Canada. Politically charged and intimately poetic, ITSUKA tells a story of profound hope, extraordinary commitment and the fragile progress of love.
Joy Kogawa, one of North America's most celebrated writers, is the award-winning author of three novels, seven collections of poetry and two books for children. Obasan, which the New York Times called "a tour de force... brilliantly poetic in its sensibility," continues to be taught across North America, and the opera based on her children's book Naomi's Road has toured in Canada and the United States. Kogawa has worked to educate Canadians about the history of Japanese Canadians and is a long-time activist in the areas of peace and reconciliation. In 2010, the Japanese government honoured her with the Order of the Rising Sun.
'A poetic novel filled with dreams, images and emotions? ITSUKA is both idealistic and realistic, a superb realization of a journey out of fear made by individuals in the process of forging community. ''--OTTAWA CITIZEN''An important book, one that tells us stories we have denied or disowned. ''--THE TORONTO STAR''ITSUKA brings to life one of the sorriest chapters in Canadian history. It is a worthy successor to OBASAN. ''--CALGARY HERALD