Joy Kogawa listed in The Toronto Star's “Essential Book List”
For Canada Day, the Toronto Star examined what is considered essentially
Canadian. They chose judges in all culture categories, who had a few
months to compile the top 10 most significant and essential Canadian
works. Guess what made the top 10 in books?!
Here’s a link:
It's not often a piece of fiction gets read aloud in the House of Commons, but such was the case with Obasan.
The novel played a crucial role in the Japanese-Canadian redress
settlement. A blend of fiction and documentary fact, Kogawa's lyrical
and moving novel sheds light on the Canadian government's racist
policies toward Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. Centred
on the protagonist Naomi, a third-generation Japanese Canadian, the
novel interweaves past and present as it traces her struggle to unravel
the veil of secrecy behind her mother's mysterious absence during
wartime. A fiercely nationalistic novel, Obasan nonetheless
demands that we take a closer look at the myth of the multicultural
nation, and at citizenship and belonging in Canada.