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By Julie Otsuka

Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award For Fiction
National publication Award and Los Angeles Times ebook Prize Finalist
A New York Times striking Book

A attractive novel via the prestigious writer of When the Emperor was once Divine that tells the tale of a bunch of younger women introduced from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” approximately a century in the past. In 8 unforgettable sections, The Buddha within the Attic lines the intense lives of those girls, from their laborious trips by means of boat, to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new other halves; from their studies elevating little ones who could later reject their tradition and language, to the deracinating arrival of warfare. once more, Julie Otsuka has written a spellbinding novel approximately identification and loyalty, and what it capability to be an American in doubtful occasions.

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We pushed aside invisible specks of lint from their blouses, retied scarves, adjusted stray locks of hair so that they hung in order that. We plucked out their grays with out remark. “You glance beautiful,” we stated to them, after which we despatched them on their method. And while their husbands got here domestic within the night on the ordinary hour we pretended to not recognize something. one among THEM lived on my own in a run-down mansion on best of San Francisco’s Nob Hill and had now not been open air in twelve years. one among them used to be a countess from Dresden who had by no means lifted up whatever heavier than a fork. one in every of them had fled from the Bolsheviks in Russia and each evening she dreamed she used to be again in her father’s residence in Odessa. We misplaced all of it. considered one of them had used in basic terms Negroes prior to us. one in every of them had had undesirable good fortune with the chinese language. you should control all of them the time. one in all them made us get down on our palms and knees each time we scrubbed her flooring rather than utilizing a mop. certainly one of them grabbed a rag and attempted to aid us yet in simple terms ended up going in our means. certainly one of them served us intricate lunches on advantageous china plates and insisted that we take a seat along with her on the desk, even supposing we have been apprehensive to get on with our paintings. certainly one of them by no means replaced out of her nightgown until eventually midday. a number of of them suffered from complications. lots of them have been unhappy. so much drank. certainly one of them took us downtown to the town of Paris division shop each Friday afternoon and advised us to pick a brand new merchandise of garments. no matter what you love. one in every of them gave us a dictionary and 2 white silk gloves and enrolled us in our firstclass in English. My driving force can be expecting you downstairs. Others attempted to coach us themselves. this can be a bucket. it is a mop. it is a broom. one in every of them may perhaps by no means bear in mind our identify. one in every of them greeted us warmly each morning within the kitchen yet every time she handed us outdoor in the street she had no suggestion who we have been. considered one of them slightly stated a note to us within the 13 years that we labored for her but if she died she left us a fortune. WE loved IT top once they have been out having their hair performed, or consuming lunch on the membership, and their husbands have been nonetheless away on the place of work, and their childrens now not but domestic from institution. not anyone was once looking at us then. no one used to be speaking to us. not anyone used to be sneaking up on us from at the back of as we have been cleansing her furnishings to work out if we’d neglected any spots. the complete residence was once empty. Quiet. Ours. We pulled again curtains. Opened home windows. Breathed within the clean air as we moved from one room to the subsequent, dusting and sprucing their issues. All they see is the shine. We felt calmer then. much less afraid. We felt, for as soon as, like ourselves. some of US stole from them. Little issues, initially, which we didn't imagine they'd leave out. A silver fork right here. A saltshaker there. The occasional swig of brandy. a stunning rose-patterned teacup we simply needed to have. a stunning rose-patterned saucer. A porcelain vase that was once a similar colour of eco-friendly as our mother’s jade Buddha. I similar to lovely issues. A handful of swap that have been sitting out at the counter for days.

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