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Farewell to Manzanar Hardcover – April 29, 2002
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"A poignant memoir from a Japanese American. . . . Told without bitterness, her story reflects the triumph of the human spirit during an extraordinary episode in American history." —Library Journal
"[Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston] describes vividly the life in the camp and the humiliations suffered by the detainees... A sober and moving personal account." —Publishers Weekly
From the Publisher
Farewell To Manzanar is the true story of one spirited Japanese American family's attempt to survive the indignities of forced detention . . . and of a native-born American child who discovered what it was like to grow up behind barbed wire in the United States. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
For those of you who disagreed with my review of that film, I strongly urge you to read (or re-read) "Farwell to Manzanar". This is a frank, accurate, and at times heart-breaking, true story of a Japanese family's internment in the camps. The narrative contains several different threads including:
1. The legal and economic injustice done to the author's family and thousands of other Japanese Americans.
2. The day to day life and survival requirements in the camps.
3. The difficulty of coping with generational differences within an interned Japanese-American family.
4. The difficulties and predjudices that Japanese Americans had to overcome in order to rebuild their lives after they were released.
Ms. Wakatsuki-Houston's memoir is simple and compelling. She describes her childhood experiences from the objective and mature perspective of an adult, a wife, and a mother. But despite the passage of time her narrative still conveys a great deal of pain and difficulty in coming to terms with her childhood internment at Manzanar.
The most interesting part of the book for me was how the author's family attempted to rebuild their lives after the U.S. government robbed and humiliated them. The father immediately started a farming venture whose success was only undermined by unsually adverse environmental conditions. One of the sons served in the military and then resumed the family's fishing business.Read more ›
The narrative is full of compelling details of the family's experiences. It is particularly intriguing to watch how the internment camp evolved into "a world unto itself, with its own logic"--a "desert ghetto." During the course of the book the authors discuss many important topics: religion, education, anti-Asian bigotry, the impact of the Pearl Harbor attack, the military service of Japanese-Americans during the war, and more.
The Houstons write vividly of the dislocation, humiliation, and injustice faced by the Wakatsuki family. Also powerful is the narrator's struggle to come to terms with her own ethnic identity.
For an interesting companion text, I would suggest "Desert Exile," by Yoshiko Uchida; this book also deals with the internment experience, but from a somewhat different perspective which complements that of the Houstons. I was moved by "Farewell." The book is a profound meditation on both the hope and the tragedy of the United States, in which the "American dream" can become intermingled with American nightmares. I consider this book an important addition to Asian-American studies in particular, and to the canon of multiethnic U.S. literature in general.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was difficult for me to read because I am sentimental and the story is truly heartbreaking. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Wilma Rodz
“Farewell to Manzanar” by Jeanne Wakstsuki and James Houstan was one of the more interesting books I’ve read, although I learned a lot I felt the book wasn’t that good. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Hannah Allen
An important story and perspective. I appreciate whenever my Ed Therapy clients are assigned Houston's memoir at school. The book has a needed impact on students.Published 29 days ago by Frank
Excellent book about a very shameful part of our history.Published 1 month ago by Lita Gloor Little
Finely told narrative. A disquieting disconnect between finding a way to live a normal life and the overshadowing reason for having to find it.Published 1 month ago by Scott Richburg
I was profoundly moved by this book. It used to be required reading in high schools and I can see why. I wish it still was. Read morePublished 1 month ago by X. Libris
I read this as a kid 30 years ago and loved it. Recommended it to my 13 year old son last month and he also enjoyed it.Published 1 month ago by Johanna Hofmeister
Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston revisits the three years she and her family spent in Manzanar, one of ten internment camps run by the US War Department for relocated persons of Japanese... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sandra M Yeaman