About the Book & Authors

When The Emperor Was Divine Book Banner

About the Book

Just Mercy Book Cover

On a sunny day in Berkeley, California, in 1942, a woman sees a sign in a post office window, returns to her home, and matter-of-factly begins to pack her family’s possessions. Like thousands of other Japanese Americans they have been reclassified, virtually overnight, as enemy aliens and are about to be uprooted from their home and sent to a dusty internment camp in the Utah desert. 

In this lean and devastatingly evocative first novel, Julie Otsuka tells their story from five flawlessly realized points of view and conveys the exact emotional texture of their experience: the thin-walled barracks and barbed-wire fences, the omnipresent fear and loneliness, the unheralded feats of heroism. When the Emperor Was Divine is a work of enormous power that makes a shameful episode of our history as immediate as today’s headlines.

 

Winner of the Asian American Literary Award | Winner of the Booklist Editor's Choice for Young Adults | Winner of a New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age 

About the Author 

Julie Otsuka

Julie Otsuka was born and raised in California. After studying art as an undergraduate at Yale University she pursued a career as a painter for several years before turning to fiction writing at age 30. She received her MFA from Columbia. She is a recipient of the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Asian American Literary Award, the American Library Association Alex Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She currently lives in New York City where she writes every afternoon in her neighborhood cafe. 

 

How Do I Get the Book?

Students: Copies are available for purchase at the USA Bookstore and at your local bookstore. Copies are available for loan at the University Marx Library.
Students with Disabilities: If you are a student with a documented disability and wish to request this text in an alternate format, please contact Student Disability Services at (251) 460-7212.  No alternate format copies will be supplied without proper documentation.
Faculty and Staff: If you are interested in participating in this program or reviewing the text, please email commonread@southalabama.edu.