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When the Emperor Was Divine


Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, "When the Emperor Was Divine" is the critically acclaimed debut novel by bestselling writer Julie Otsuka ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of When the Emperor Was Divine

Overall customer rating: 4.500

Simple and emotional

by pamela1717 on Apr 2, 2008

Very stark and removed and I assume that was the intention of the author. I think the starkness serves a large purpose for the story. Many books spend time on character development and story line (not a bad thing), this one doesn't. By omitting these I think the author sets the reader up to imagine so much more than an author can supply and to ask themselves "What if this happened to me?"


gorgeous and sad

by Rubycanary on Jan 23, 2008

This is a fantastic depiction of a subject that hasn't been written about nearly enough in contemporary American literature. A family of unknown name, but of Japanese origin, is the example of a common tale. People told to leave their homes to live a life in the desert of Utah. Declared enemies of the state, and told to show their loyalty to the US by allowing themselves to be locked up for years. The only character given a name is a presumably white girl who dares to write letters to the unnamed boy. The book is simple, beautiful, and very successfully makes its point.

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