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To Breathe the Sky
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To Breathe the Sky

By Grace Takahashi
2007, 259 pages, Paperback.
Book Description from Back Cover
Comments from Back Cover
About the Author

ORDER -- Item #3471, Price $15.95

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Book Description from Back Cover

In February 1942, Yoshio Torikawa, a Japanese immigrant, is arrested by FBI agents and taken from his home to the county jail in Portland, Oregon. Although never accused of any crime he is moved across the United States from one Justice Department camp for enemy aliens to another. Each move creates more uncertainty about his legal situation and anxiety from being separated from his family. The conditions are difficult, and as months become years, Yoshio's physical and mental health deteriorate. Yoshio's American-born wife and two young children are also uprooted from their home and, like over 100, 000 Japanese Americans during World War II, imprisoned in internment camps.

To Breathe the Sky explores the effects of the loss of liberty and physical contact with family, the influence of culture and religion on the choices one makes, and the unseverable bond between parent and child.

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Comments from Back Cover

To Breathe the Sky illuminates the largely neglected experience of lawful Japanese nationals ineligible for US citizenship adrift in a maze of alien enemy internment facilities.

In censored mail between an innocent Issei internee father and his incarcerated wife and two young children in a distant "relocation" center, Takahashi deftly plumbs the depths of personal, familial, and community pain and despair that accompanied America’s greatest wartime mistake.

Takahashi's book is notable for achieving a dynamic equilibrium between the claims of fact and fiction; it is the very best sort of historical novel.

Grace Takahashi has crafted a remarkable World War II novel.
- Arthur A. Hansen
Professor Emeritus of History and Asian American Studies
Director, Center for Oral and Public History
California State University, Fullerton

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Background on Grace Takahashi

Born and raised in Oregon, Grace Takahashi has also lived in New York and Japan, and now resides in California.

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