Hide Sora notification

Try Sora - the student reading app, by OverDrive

Apple App Store
Google Play Store
  Main Nav
The Buddha in the Attic
Cover of The Buddha in the Attic
The Buddha in the Attic
Borrow Borrow
Finalist for the 2011 National Book AwardJulie Otsuka's long awaited follow-up to When the Emperor Was Divine ("To watch Emperor catching on with teachers and students in vast numbers is to grasp what...
Finalist for the 2011 National Book AwardJulie Otsuka's long awaited follow-up to When the Emperor Was Divine ("To watch Emperor catching on with teachers and students in vast numbers is to grasp what...
Available Formats-
  • OverDrive Listen
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
Subjects-
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1

Recommended for you

 

Description-

  • Finalist for the 2011 National Book Award

    Julie Otsuka's long awaited follow-up to When the Emperor Was Divine ("To watch Emperor catching on with teachers and students in vast numbers is to grasp what must have happened at the outset for novels like Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird" —The New York Times) is a tour de force of economy and precision, a novel that tells the story of a group of young women brought over from Japan to San Francisco as 'picture brides' nearly a century ago.
    In eight incantatory sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces their extraordinary lives, from their arduous journey by boat, where they exchange photographs of their husbands, imagining uncertain futures in an unknown land; to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields and scrubbing the floors of white women; to their struggles to master a new language and a new culture; to their experiences in childbirth, and then as mothers, raising children who will ultimately reject their heritage and their history; to the deracinating arrival of war.

    In language that has the force and the fury of poetry, Julie Otsuka has written a singularly spellbinding novel about the American dream.
    From the Hardcover edition.
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Come, Japanese!

    On the boat we were mostly virgins. We had long black hair and flat wide feet and we were not very tall. Some of us had eaten nothing but rice gruel as young girls and had slightly bowed legs, and some of us were only fourteen years old and were still young girls ourselves. Some of us came from the city, and wore stylish city clothes, but many more of us came from the country and on the boat we wore the same old kimonos we'd been wearing for years-faded hand-me-downs from our sisters that had been patched and redyed many times. Some of us came from the mountains, and had never before seen the sea, except for in pictures, and some of us were the daughters of fishermen who had been around the sea all our lives. Perhaps we had lost a brother or father to the sea, or a fiancé, or perhaps someone we loved had jumped into the water one unhappy morning and simply swum away, and now it was time for us, too, to move on.

    On the boat the first thing we did-before deciding who we liked and didn't like, before telling each other which one of the islands we were from, and why we were leaving, before even bothering to learn each other's names-was compare photographs of our husbands. They were handsome young men with dark eyes and full heads of hair and skin that was smooth and unblemished. Their chins were strong. Their posture, good. Their noses were straight and high. They looked like our brothers and fathers back home, only better dressed, in gray frock coats and fine Western three-piece suits. Some of them were standing on sidewalks in front of wooden A-frame houses with white picket fences and neatly mowed lawns, and some were leaning in driveways against Model T Fords. Some were sitting in studios on stiff high- backed chairs with their hands neatly folded and staring straight into the camera, as though they were ready to take on the world. All of them had promised to be there, waiting for us, in San Francisco, when we sailed into port.

    On the boat, we often wondered: Would we like them? Would we love them? Would we recognize them from their pictures when we first saw them on the dock?

    On the boat we slept down below, in steerage, where it was filthy and dim. Our beds were narrow metal racks stacked one on top of the other and our mattresses were hard and thin and darkened with the stains of other journeys, other lives. Our pillows were stuffed with dried wheat hulls. Scraps of food littered the passageways between berths and the floors were wet and slick. There was one porthole, and in the evening, after the hatch was closed, the darkness filled with whispers. Will it hurt? Bodies tossed and turned beneath the blankets. The sea rose and fell. The damp air stifled. At night we dreamed of our husbands. We dreamed of new wooden sandals and endless bolts of indigo silk and of living, one day, in a house with a chimney. We dreamed we were lovely and tall. We dreamed we were back in the rice paddies, which we had so desperately wanted to escape. The rice paddy dreams were always nightmares. We dreamed of our older and prettier sisters who had been sold to the geisha houses by our fathers so that the rest of us might eat, and when we woke we were gasping for air. For a second I thought I was her.

    Our first few days on the boat we were seasick, and could not keep down our food, and had to make repeated trips to the railing. Some of us were so dizzy we could not even walk, and lay in our berths in a dull stupor, unable to remember our own names, not to mention those of our new husbands. Remind me one more time, I'm Mrs. Who? Some of us clutched our stomachs and prayed out loud to Kannon, the goddess of mercy-Where are you?-while...

About the Author-

  • Julie Otsuka was born and raised in California. She is the author of the novel When the Emperor Was Divine and a recipient of the Asian American Literary Award, the American Library Association Alex Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in New York City.

    Samantha Quan is a graduate of the Graduate Acting Program at New York University. She has performed onstage in New York and regionally, including appearances at The Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Globe Theatres. Samantha presently resides in Los Angeles, where she works in film and television.

    Carrington MacDuffie is a recording artist and spoken-word performer whose voice acting has been featured in several independent films. Following a lengthy run with a New York vaudeville revue, she spent many years singing, writing, and producing multimedia performances with her seven-piece pop band. Her one-woman spoken-word show, On the Dreaming Earth, has been staged at various venues in Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest. MacDuffie has received several of AudioFile’s Earphones awards, and KLIATT says, “MacDuffie’s reading is amazing.”

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Entry into this audio is a bit bewildering as Julie Otsuka's novel uses a first-person-plural point of view to meld the collective stories of Japanese mail-order brides at the turn of the twentieth century. Narrator Samantha Quan quickly dispels the confusion as she delivers the story with a rhythmic cadence. Each "we" introduces the listener to a new chorus of emotions and details. These create a haunting picture of relocation that encompasses adjustment struggles to new husbands and new homes and a stunning portrait of deportation to WWII internment camps. The final section of the story is narrated by Carrington MacDuffie. She presents additional viewpoints--this time of the whites who witness the Japanese women's departures. MacDuffie captures their feelings of anger, guilt, and righteousness in a discordant coda. S.W. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 18, 2011
    In the early 1900s, numerous Japanese mail order brides came to America seeking better lives. Otsuka's (When the Emperor was Divine) latest novel paints a delicate, heartbreaking portrait of these women. Using a collective first-person narrator ("On the boat we were mostly virgins."), Otsuka looks at the experiences of these "picture brides," organizing their stories into themes which include: their arrival in America; their first nights with their husbands; their interactions with white people; their children; and finally, the experience of World War II. Each section is beautifully rendered, a delicate amalgam of contrasting and complementary experiences. Readers will instantly empathize with these unnamed women as they adjust to American culture, a remarkable achievement considering Otsuka's use of the collective voice. Otsuka's prose is precise and rich with imagery. Readers will be inspired to draw their own parallels between the experiences of these women and the modern experience of immigration. By the time readers realize that the story is headed toward the internment of the Japanese, they are hopelessly engaged and will finish this exceptional book profoundly moved.

  • Alida Becker, The New York Times Book Review "Otsuka's incantatory style pulls her prose close to poetry."
  • Megan O'Grady, Vogue "A stunning feat of empathetic imagination and emotional compression, capturing the experience of thousands of women."
  • Celia McGee, O, The Oprah Magazine "Spare and stunning ...Otsuka has created a tableau as intricate as the pen stokes her humble immigrant girls learned to use in letters to loved ones they'd never see again."
  • Lisa Shea, Elle "A lithe stunner."
  • Susanna Sonnenberg, More "Haunting and intimate ...Otsuka extracts the grace and strength at the core of immigrant (and female) survival and, with exquisite care, makes us rethink the heartbreak of eternal hope."
  • Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Otsuka's book has become emblematic of the brides themselves: slender and serene on the outside, tough, weathered and full of secrets on the inside."
  • Meganne Fabrega, Minneapolis StarTribune "Otsuka masterfully creates a chorus of unforgettable voices that echo throughout the chambers of this slim but commanding novel, speaking of a time that no American should ever forget."
  • Alice Stephens, Washington Independent Book Review "The novel comprises a gorgeous mosaic of the hopes and dreams that propelled so many immigrants across an ocean to an unknown country. The author, Julie Otsuka, illuminates the challenges, suffering and occasional joy that they found in their new homeland...A social history of the Japanese immigrant experience wrought in exquisite poetry, each sentence spare in words, precise in meaning and eloquently evocative, like a tanka poem, this book is a rare unique treat."
  • Greg Langly, Baton Rouge Advocate "An amazing, wonderful book that will surprise and delight you...Otsuka keeps the language sparse yet evocative, her Hemmingway-like descriptions of scenery and events are lyric and transfixing...Once you engage with this book, it won't let you leave it, not until you enjoy the last word in the last sentence."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A delicate, heartbreaking portrait ...beautifully rendered ...Otsuka's prose is precise and rich with imagery. Readers will be ...hopelessly engaged and will finish this exceptional book profoundly moved."
  • Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review) "An incantatory and haunting group portrait ...Drawing on extensive research and profoundly identifying with her characters, Otsuka crafts an intricately detailed folding screen depicting nearly five decades of change as the women painstakingly build meaningful lives, only to lose everything after Pearl Harbor. This lyrically distilled and caustically ironic story of exile, effort, and hate is entrancing, appalling, and heartbreakingly beautiful."
  • Margaret Heilbrun, Library Journal "A luminous second novel ...Otsuka works an enchantment upon her readers ...and leaves us haunted and astonished at the powers of her subtlety and charms...Unforgettable."

Title Information+

  • Publisher
    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • OverDrive Listen
    Release date:
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Release date:

Digital Rights Information+

  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Burn to CD: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to device: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to Apple® device: 
    Permitted
    Public performance: 
    Not permitted
    File-sharing: 
    Not permitted
    Peer-to-peer usage: 
    Not permitted
    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You have reached the maximum number of titles you are allowed to recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 4 titles every 1 days.

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend this title for your digital library.

Close

Enhanced Details:

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Recommend this title for your digital library
The Buddha in the Attic
The Buddha in the Attic
Julie Otsuka
Optional:
Close
Buy it now
and support our digital library!
The Buddha in the Attic
The Buddha in the Attic
Julie Otsuka
A portion of your purchase goes to support your digital library.
Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel

Sora Turbo
Get the app!
Apple App Store
Google Play Store
Brought to you by Barrington High School, and built with 💕 by OverDrive.
Close

Renewing this title won't extend your lending period. Instead, it will let you borrow the title again immediately after your first lending period expires.

Close

You can't renew this title because there are holds on it. However, you can join the holds list and be notified when it becomes available for you to borrow again.

Close