Obasan is the 2005 choice for One Book One Vancouver

The 2005 choice for One Book One Vancouver is Obasan written by Joy Kogawa. 

I am really happy because I sent a letter to the OBOV committee
outlining 20 reasons why Obasan was the best choice for One Book One

Below is the official press release from the Vancouver Public Library!  How fitting that this is announced during Asian Heritage Month.

Here are additional links related to Obasan

Official Vancouver Public Library announcement:

20 Reasons why Obasan should be the 2005 OBOV Choice

Save the Kogawa Homestead Page


For Immediate Release, May 10, 2005

Vancouver Public Library Chooses Joy Kogawa's Obasan as
2005 One Book, One Vancouver Selection

(Vancouver, British Columbia) — Vancouver Public Library (VPL) has selected Joy Kogawa's Obasan as its One Book, One Vancouver selection for 2005.

Obasan is one of the most powerful books about the
Japanese Canadian experience ever written,” said City Librarian Paul
Whitney. “The story and its message about the consequences of war and
prejudice are as relevant today as they were when this book was first
released in 1981. We're delighted to introduce Obasan to some readers for the first time, and give those who've read Obasan the opportunity to rediscover the novel again.”

Obasan is a powerful and moving story of Japanese Canadians
during the Second World War, told through the eyes of a child, Naomi.
Surrounded by hardship and pain, Naomi is protected by the resolute
endurance of her aunt, Obasan, and the silence of those around her.
Only after Naomi grows up does she return to question that haunting

Joy Kogawa was born in Vancouver in 1935. She is a recipient of
numerous honorary doctorates as well as national and international
awards for her writing. She was named a Member of the Order of Canada
in 1986. Her books include four volumes of poetry, one children's
book-Naomi's Road-and three novels: Obasan, Itsuka, and The Rain Ascends.

“I cannot begin to say what it means to me to have Obasan chosen for the One Book One Vancouver
project,” said Ms. Kogawa. “This honour belongs to the
Japanese-Canadian community. I wish with all my heart that every single
person who has ever known what it is to be cast out and despised, could
share in Obasan's happy return. Thank you for the welcome home.”

Joy Kogawa will make her first One Book, One Vancouver author appearance on Tuesday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Alice MacKay Room at the Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street, as part of the launch of Library Square at 10, the Central Library's 10th anniversary celebration. Between May and September 2005, One Book, One Vancouver
will feature a wide variety of programs created to encourage discussion
and bring the themes of the book to life. Watch for details at

One Book, One Vancouver is an award-winning book club for
the entire city, designed to create a culture of reading and discussion
in Vancouver by bringing people together around one great book. The
program aims to encourage people to read, create a common topic of
conversation and create opportunities to engage people in reading and
discussion about a variety of topics.

One Book, One Vancouver is presented by Vancouver Public
Library with support from Penguin Group (Canada), the Vancouver Opera,
32 Books, and media partners CBC Radio One, CBC Radio Two, Word on the
Street, and The Vancouver Sun.

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For more information contact: Marya Gadison
Coordinator of Marketing & Communications
Vancouver Public Library
Phone: 604-331-3681

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