Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Erdogan: 'Turkey may provide logistical support to Saudi-led operation in Yemen'

Read more

ENCORE!

Sound Bites: Eating on tour with Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos

Read more

REVISITED

Video: A wind of freedom blowing in Kuwait

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Daniel Pipes: 'Obama has quite a hostility towards Israel'

Read more

FASHION

When haute couture becomes ready-to-wear for Alaïa, Jarrar and Kayrouz

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Oil prices fall after supply fears subside

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US presidential election: Who looks set to run in 2016?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The co-pilot who wanted to end it all'

Read more

DEBATE

Yemen - The Escalation: Could Sunni-Shiite divide engulf the region? (part 2)

Read more

Culture

US writer Julie Otsuka wins Femina foreign novel prize

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-11-06

American writer Julie Otsuka (left) won France’s Femina foreign novel prize on Monday for her second novel, The Buddha in the Attic. The Prix Femina went to French writer Patrick Deville (right) for his last novel, Plague and Cholera.

France’s all-female Femina jury awarded US writer Julie Otsuka the foreign novel prize Monday for "The Buddha in the Attic", a novel about the thousands of Japanese women sent to California in the early 1900s for arranged marriages.

The novel follows Fumiko, Hanako and Miyoshi with their kimonos, sandals and long black hair, first to the Japanese husbands awaiting them in the United States, then through their new lives.

"I hope the novel honoured this Monday will bring awareness to Europe about the history of these young Japanese women and the internment camps, which are practically unknown abroad and remain taboo in the United States," Otsuka said as she accepted the prize in Paris.

Set primarily before World War II, Otsuka’s three young brides leave for America, "the land of giants", each with a photo of their future husband and hope for a better life. But they arrive to face their wedding nights with complete strangers, followed by a life of labouring in the country or working in laundromats.

Otsuka, who studied art and tried a painting career before becoming a writer, portrays the women's nostalgia for their homeland, the looks from white Americans, and, years later, from their children, who have become American themselves.

When Japan declares war against the United States they suffer a second exile on US soil, and are sent to internment camps. For their part, the Americans watch their Japanese neighbours being forced away.

Patrick Deville was awarded the Prix Femina for his novel, Plague and Cholera, which fictionalises the life of Alexandre Yersin, the French-Swiss doctor who discovered the bacillus responsible for the bubonic plague.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2012-11-05

  • LITERATURE

    South Korea lifts ban on French erotic novel by de Sade

    Read more

  • NOBEL PRIZE

    Chinese author Mo Yan wins Nobel Prize for literature

    Read more

  • UNITED KINGDOM

    Rushdie releases memoirs in shadow of anti-Islam film protests

    Read more

COMMENT(S)