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madbkwm

madbkwm

The Buddha in The Attic - Julie Otsuka This book reminded me of two others that I liked, "The Fates Will Find Their Way" and "Shanghai Girls". I know Shanghai Girls was about the Chinese and this is the Japanese, but there are a lot of similiarities with the girls on the boat, and their husbands who essentially bought them from their parents and then the American prejudice that the faced (Chinese with the anti-communist craze and Japanese with the internment camps). I loved the voice in "The Fates", and this is the only other novel I've read that uses the collective tense. In "The Fates" there were stll individual characters, despite the group consciousness of the experience. In Buddha, I felt like the tense/tone was a cop out. Otsuka just provides us with a list of things. She used this collective tense as a way to generalize (and not edit...although it's hard to complain that a 129 page novel was long and boring, this sometimes was just that) rather than to provide the reader with any characters or individual experiences. Overall, I got the intention, but nothing about the book really appealed to me. When she flipped into a collective tense from the American point of view for the last chapter, I almost put the book down; but after all there was only another 10 pages to suffer through.