Fiction and Non-Fiction for Adults

March 25, 2014; Additional titles read added on December 30, 2021.

On the Recommended Reading for Children & YA page above, the books I suggest describe the experiences of Japanese Canadian and Japanese American families during the period of internment by their respective governments.  Several of those stories are told from the first person point of view of the author as child protagonist, thus drawing the reader into an emotional understanding of the tragic events that occurred shortly after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. The following novels are considered adult reading, but a few of them may be appropriate for teens, as well. I will be adding to the list as I become aware of new publications on this topic reaching the market.

The Electrical Field by Kerri Sakamoto. (Toronto: Vintage Canada ; 1st Vintage Canada ed., 1998.)

Gently to Nagasaki by Joy Kogawa (Half Moon Bay, B.C.: Caitlin Press Inc. ;  c2016)

Itsuka by Joy Kogawa. (Toronto: Penguin Books Canada ; rev. ed., 1993.)

Obasan by Joy Kogawa.  (Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys ; c1981.)

Requiem by Frances Itani. (Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers ; 1st ed., c2011.)

Forgiveness: A Gift from My Grandparents by Mark Sakamoto. (Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, c2014.)

Japanese American Internment:

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. (Ballantine Books ; pbk. ed., c2009.)

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson. (New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1994.)

After the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara. (Toronto : Dundurn, c2017.)

Books on Other Topics by Authors of Asian Heritage:

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. (New York: Penguin, c2013.)

The Samurai’s Garden: A Novel by Gail Tsukiyama. (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, c1994.)

The Language of Threads: A Novel by Gail Tsukiyama. (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, c1999.)

The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake (Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf Canada ; c2016)

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (New York : Grand Central Publishing ;  1st paperback ed., 2018, c2017.)

Anne’s Cradle: The life & works of Hanako Muraoka, Japanese translator of Anne of Green Gables / by Eri Muraoka ; translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano (Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, c2021) ; originally published in Japan as An no yurikago Muraoka Hanako no shogai by Shinchosa 2008.

Home is where… The story of our family growing and learning in different cultures, languages, countries: USA, JAPAN, INDIA / by Henrietta B. Alsdorf (Springfield, Oregon ; Cross-Cultural Press, c1995.)

I Cry for Innocence: a memoir / by Theresia M. Quigley (Dreamcatcher Publishing Inc., c2002.)

The Wreckage: A novel / by Michael Crummey (Anchor Canada, c2005.)


A Garden of Anchors : selected poems / Joy Kogawa (Oakville, ON : Mosaic Press, c2003.)

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