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Requiem [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Frances Itani , Brian Nishii , Inc. Brilliance Audio
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 7 2012
Frances Itani, author of the internationally bestselling novel Deafening and an extraordinary researcher and scholar of detail, excels at weaving breathtaking fiction from true-life events. In her new novel, she traces the lives, loves, and secrets in one Japanese-Canadian family caught in the larger arc of history during the 1940s. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Canadian government uprooted Bin Okuma’s family and relatives from their homes on British Columbia’s west coast. Families were allowed to take only the possessions they could carry, and Bin, as a young boy, witnessed neighbors raiding his home before the transport boat even undocked. Removed from the one-hundred-mile “Protected Zone,” Japanese Canadians were sent to internment camps where for five years they lived in hardship in hastily erected shacks in the mountainous interior. More than fifty years later, after his wife’s sudden death, Bin travels across Canada to find the biological father who has been lost to him. Both running from grief and driving straight toward it, Bin must ask himself whether he truly wants to find First Father, the man who made a fateful decision that almost destroyed his family all those years ago. With his wife’s persuasive voice in his head and the echo of their love in his heart, Bin embarks on an unforgettable journey into his past that will throw light on a dark time in history.

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About the Author

Frances Itani is the author of Deafening, winner of a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Drummer General’s Award, and short-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and Remembering the Bones, short-listed for a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very satisfying read on many levels May 19 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Though I am not a member of a book club, I have already recommended this book to several people who are, because I think there are so many issues to delve into, that come out of this reading. First and foremost, of course, is the story of the relocation of Japanese Canadians during the war. Living in the area of British Columbia where many of the relocation camps were situated, and working with many people who went through that process, that has always been an area of great interest and concern for me. But many who lived the experience are reluctant to relive it. And so, though the details of the relocation were familiar, the feelings that Itani evoked in its telling, were new to me. But equally evocative were her stories around families, and especially the relationship of men with their sons. Though the telling of the story here, might have had some specifically Japanese aspects to it, it talked a lot about my relationships as a father, and I was surprised at Itani's insights into these male relationships. Equally evocative also, were her stories about a man, grieving the loss of a wife. Being in that process, I kept thinking she must have had that experience too, because it seems to me that, only someone who had experienced it, could describe it as she did. My one problem with the book was the ending, which seemed too facile. But since it brought a good resolution, I can forgive her that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable Story July 28 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Requiem is a disturbing read of man's inhumanity towards others, all the more shameful because it happened in Canada. Emotions during war time are readily inflamed into enmity, racism and greed. The Japanese-Canadians along Canada's Pacific coast bore the brunt of this hysteria, their properties confiscated and forced into internment camps; a sad indictment of Canadian society at a stressful time.
The story takes a twist inside the camps. Resilient internees strive to make the best of a bad situation. They persevere. Strengths of human character and family ties shine through. When peace returns, they pursue with renewed vigour their rightful place in society.
The novel's portrayal of a family caught up in this drama is memorable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Requiem June 22 2014
Format:Paperback
Frances Itani is an exceptional author. I am now addicted to her books. Amazed at the way she interweaves the storyline.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Requiem June 12 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would recommend this to anyone who would like to know about the internment. I didn't know very much about it so it was a learning experience - well written and easy to read.
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