On the 60th anniversary of the bombing that claimed Naomi's young mother in Obasan, Joy Kogawa revisits her second novel—Itsuka—now retitled Emily Kato
In Obasan, Naomi's childhood was torn apart by Canada's betrayal of Japanese Canadian citizens during the 1940s. Years later, living quietly as a schoolteacher in the prairies, Naomi suffers the passing of the dear aunt and uncle who raised her, and her wounds are reopened. But Naomi's other aunt—the feisty Emily Kato—convinces her to move to Toronto and encourages her to become involved in the Japanese Canadian fight for redress. Politically charged and intimately poetic, Emily Kato tells the story of one community's struggle for justice, extraordinary commitment, and profound hope.
About the author
Joy Kogawa, one of North America’s most celebrated writers, is the award-winning author of three novels, seven collections of poetry and two books for children. Obasan, which the New York Times called “a tour de force…brilliantly poetic in its sensibility,” continues to be taught across North America, and the opera based on her children’s book Naomi’s Road has toured in Canada and the United States. Kogawa has worked to educate Canadians about the history of Japanese Canadians and is a long-time activist in the areas of peace and reconciliation. In 2010, the Japanese government honoured her with the Order of the Rising Sun. Her latest book is Gently to Nagasaki.