In the early 1900s when Sunja falls pregnant, she refuses to be mistress to a wealthy man she discovers is already married. Instead she accepts an offer of marriage from a minister, and they soon leave Korea for Japan.
This is a four generational tale exploring Japan’s attitude towards Koreans as well as the family’s struggles to survive. A compelling story. And I’ve decided to reblog this exceptional book because of the current controversy on Twitter over a Nike advertisement depicting racism in Japan.
African American Evan grew up an orphan in a small Mississippi town. When he meets Valuable, the daughter of the town whore who doesn’t know who her father is, their lives change. Both want a family, something neither of them have, but can this racial combination survive in the 1950’s racist south?
Arjie is a young Tamil boy unsure of his identity in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. When racial riots break out in 1983 with the burning and killing of Tamils and their property, Arjie’s life is in danger.
Although this was Selvadrai’s debut novel, its tale has stayed with me more than any other of his more recent novels. To me it’s still his finest work.
After Michelle’s Japanese mother leaves and returns to the U.S., her father takes her to the States in search of her mother. Soon she is left with her grandparents in a mid-west town where everyone is white. While her disappointment increases with the absence of her father, she discovers the joy of her grandfather’s love. Soon she is sent to school where she endures the bullying and harassment of everyone. When a negro substitute teacher comes to the school, Michelle discovers that although her grandfather is sympathetic to the bruises and black eye she suffers from other students, he is just as racist as the rest of the town. But what happens when he learns of the flaws of his best friend will change Michelle’s life forever.
A powerful and important story that grabbed me from the first page to the last.