poughkeepsie library

Julie Otsuka’s novel, When the Emperor Was Divine , is about the internment of a Japanese-American family during World War II, as a result of FDR’s Executive Order 9066. 

The book is based on Otsuka’s own family history: her grandfather was arrested by the FBI as a suspected spy for Japan the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, and her mother, uncle, and grandmother spent three years in an internment camp in Topaz, Utah. 

Otsuka will be speaking about the book at a Poughkeepsie Public Library event held at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park on Sunday, February 26th @ 2PM .

    The Big Read - Poughkeepsie will take place over the next month where this year’s title to read as a community is Cynthia Ozick’s The Shawl. This book was selected in recognition of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

The Little Read companion program for younger readers focuses on titles related to the Holocaust and World War II era, and features the books Number the Stars and The Devil’s Arithmetic.

In The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick, readers will be moved by the story of Rosa Lublin. While Rosa lived through the Holocaust, her tiny daughter Magda did not. Magda’s shawl symbolizes the past that Rosa cannot escape, a life stolen by those she calls thieves, filled with memories of “the horror of the Holocaust and the unfillable emptiness of its aftermath.”

Big Read Coordinator, Jewel Ratzlaff; Dr. Werner Steger, Professor and guest lecturer for The Big Read; and Stephanie Laffin – representing the Poughkeepse City School District she is a Literacy Coach and English Dept. Head join us to tell us more.