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

By Michelle S. RSS Wed, February 27, 2013

Welcome back to “Chatting One Book”! This week, we’re focusing on the section called “Traitors.”

In “Traitors,” I thought Julie Otsuka did an especially fine job of creating a tense atmosphere through language and setting. As rumors build about Japanese Americans being taken away from their lives and livelihoods to camps far away in the desert, the women live in a constant state of fear and apprehension. Otsuka describes the heavy rain, the cold wind, and the dust clouds that began to envelop their neighborhoods, which serves to mirror the atmosphere in the community—oppressed by anxiety, chilled with fear, unable to “see” what is going on—closed off from everyone. These smaller details really serve to enrich and enhance the story, and as a reader, I too felt myself tensing up as I read this section.

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

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