Bin Okuma, a celebrated visual artist, has recently and quite suddenly lost his wife, Lena. He and his son Greg are left to deal with the shock. But Greg has returned to his studies on the east coast, and Bin finds himself alone. His deep grief draws him into memories he has avoided for much of his life: the uprooting of his Japanese Canadian family from the west coast of British Columbia during the Second World War. Now, he sets out to drive across the country, to revisit the places that have shaped him, to find his First Father who has been lost to him. Years ago, his father made a fateful decision that severed the bonds of his family. Running from grief, Bin must ask himself whether he really wants to find his father or whether his bitterness will separate them forever.
Requiem is a stunning and graceful novel, a story of family secrets, racial strife, birth and death, and the saving grace of art.
About the author
Besides her two previous books of poetry (No Other Lodgings, Fiddlehead, 1978 and Rentee Bay, Quarry, 1983), Frances Itani has published a children's book and co-authored a book of short stories. More recently, Frances Itani, a Member of the Order of Canada, had a spectacular international debut with her first novel, Deafening, which received a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book (Canada and Caribbean Region) and was shortlisted for the 2005 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; it was a #1 bestseller in Canada. Her second novel, Remembering The Bones, was shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Itani’s short story collection, Poached Egg On Toast, won the 2005 Ottawa Book Award and the 2005 CAA Jubilee Award for Short Stories. Itani lives in Ottawa.
- Unknown, OLA Evergreen Award
RequiemA fantastic read! Definitely Ms. Itani's best book yet. Her ability to make you, as a reader, feel that you are right there in the story is like none I've experienced before. Her prose is poetic, beautifully expressive and enveloping and the story she tells is very compelling. It not only made me reflect about life in general, but it gave me a glimpse of the experience of Japanese Canadians and the hardships they were forced to endure. I would highly recommend this novel.
Other titles by Frances Itani
The Company We Keep
The Company We Keep
That's My Baby
Best Friend Trouble Read-Along
Frances Itani Three-Book Bundle
Deafening, Remembering the Bones, and Requiem
Best Friend Trouble
What We Are Capable Of
Scenes From A Pension
The The Thickness Of One Sheet Of Paper