Chatting One Book: The Buddha in the Attic, “First Night”

By Michelle S. RSS Wed, January 30, 2013

Welcome to the second week of our blog series, “Chatting One Book”! Have you made it to any of our great One Book programs yet? Events are taking place throughout the city, so click here to find one for you!

In the second section of the novel, “First Night,” Julie Otsuka describes the first nights that the newly arrived Japanese women spent with their new husbands. It’s a short and powerful chapter that captures the excitement, bewilderment, and at-times disillusionment that these women had upon meeting the men to whom they were betrothed. Throughout the book, the author uses italics to differentiate an individual’s thoughts or speech from the group voice, and I thought the way she employed this technique in “First Night” was particularly impactful, as it underscored the unique and wildly diverse experiences that these women had with their new husbands—some more in love than ever, some eager to escape.

What did you take away from “First Night”? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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