The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka has been awarded the 2012 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the largest peer-juried award in the country. Otsuka’s novel was one of five finalists selected by judges Marita Golden, Maureen Howard, and Steve Yarbrough from a field of 350 submitted works. The Buddha in the Attic will be honored at a ceremony to be held on May 5th at the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Of the book, judge Marita Golden said: “In The Buddha in the Attic Julie Otsuka creates a voice that is hypnotic and irresistible, and renders her story with the power of the most ancient, timeless myths, the legends that crowd our dreams, and the truths we cannot bear. Her skill is awesome and utterly inspiring. The story she tells with the ear of a poet, the touch of an artist, and the wisdom of a very old soul is breathtaking in its scope and intimacy. This slender volume simply stole my heart.”
In eight unforgettable sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the extraordinary lives a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century ago: 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. Click to read an excerpt from the book and to download our reading group guide.