This year’s entering college class of 2016 was born into cyberspace and they have therefore measured their output in the fundamental particles of life: bits, bytes, and bauds. They have come to political consciousness during a time of increasing doubts about America’s future, and are entering college bombarded by questions about jobs and the value of a college degree. They have never needed an actual airline “ticket,” a set of bound encyclopedias, or Romper Room.
This was the summer reading book at the college where I work. Otsuka paints a vivid picture of life both in Japanese internment camps and before and after the internment process. At times, I felt like some of her stylistic choices kept me from fully entering the world of the story, but perhaps this sense of displacement works for the novel's themes and subject matter.