Author Discussing Impact of Book on WWII Japanese-American Internment Camps

As part of Duquesne University's Spring 2017 Big Read initiative, Gumberg Library is hosting Julie Otsuka, author of the program's featured novel, When the Emperor Was Divine, this afternoon.

In her 2003 novel, Otsuka tells the story of a Japanese-American family forced to leave their home in Berkeley, Calif., and live in an internment camp during World War II. She will discuss her book and its cultural impact today, Thursday, March 30, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Duquesne Union Ballroom. The event is free, open to the public and will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

"Otsuka's book and Duquesne's Big Read give us an opportunity to confront the concerns and misunderstandings we have now with the historical context of the Japanese-American internment," said Duquesne University Outreach and Communications Librarian Christie Kliewer. "We're looking forward to hosting Otsuka and continuing this discussion about the novel with the Pittsburgh community."

Launched earlier this semester by Gumberg Library, the Big Read at Duquesne invites readers from the University and the public to participate by reading When the Emperor Was Divine. Funded by a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Big Read at Duquesne has featured numerous educational and cultural events and activities hosted by Gumberg Library that are relevant to the novel.

Visit the Gumberg Library website for more information on the Big Read project, including overviews and reviews of the novel, teacher resources and videos and podcasts related to When the Emperor Was Divine.

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