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When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka: Home

The RIC Open Books--Open Minds common book for 2011/2012.


Here is a bibliography of library materials about the Japanese American Evacuation and Internment that were on exhibit in the Adams Library lobby, August-September 2011.

How to Use this Guide

This guide will show you how to find sources on the topic of the book itself, When the Emperor Was Divine, and the broader topic of the Japanese American Relocation and Internment during World War II.

Click on the Finding library materials tab for help locating relevent books, articles, and films. Many of these, including some of the books, are online in the Library's databases. Others are print resources to be found in the Library building. To access databases from off campus or to take books out of the Library, you must have a RIC ID and register at the Library.

Japanese American Internment - Websites describes and links to many authoratative web resources by historians and other scholars, internees, and the U.S. government.

Voices from the Camps includes art and literature, from pictures and poetry to diaries and newsletters by the internees.

Click on the Civil Rights tab to find the legal documents authorizing the internment, a Supreme Court case challenging it, an official apology, and other government documents.

Lesson Plans and Guides shows curriculum resources and lesson plans for school teachers.

Open Books -- Open Minds

Open Books--Open Minds is the Rhode Island College common book program. This initiative brings together first-year students early in their first semester at RIC, and links them with upper classmen, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and the greater Rhode Island community through book discussions and participation in a rich array of programs and activities.

Interviews with Julie Otsuka

Julie Otsuka Interviewed by Andrew Duncan on IndieBound

What made you choose Japanese-American internment camps as the subject matter for your first novel?
I feel like the subject matter chose me. I had never planned to write a novel about the camps -- too daunting, subject-matter-wise, and who was I to tell this particular story anyway? Would anyone even want to hear about the camps? But images of the war seemed to keep surfacing in my work, so clearly the camps were something I needed to write about.  read more

"Simmering Perfection" by William Nakayama on

Every first novelist daydreams of having the editors at a prestigious literary house fall in love with the manuscript over a weekend and call Monday with a handsome offer. Julie Otsuka may be the exception.   read more

Densho archive interview (free guest registration required)

James P. Adams Library  ·  Rhode Island College  ·  600 Mount Pleasant Ave, Providence, RI 02908