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Our House DividedOur House Divided

T. K. Knaefler

Narrated by Francie Wyck

Approximately 4 hours

Unabridged


Downloadable edition:

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Book published by University of Hawai'i Press


How does a man serving in the Imperial Japanese Army feel when he suddenly sees his brother in the uniform of the enemy United States? How does a Japanese mother, surrounded by barbed wire in an American internment camp for "enemy aliens," feel when her only son writes: "I am now an American soldier. I must fight and, if necessary, die for my country"? How does a Hawaii-born youth feel as he lies near death in Hiroshima, a victim of history's first nuclear attack, launched by the United States? Or a twelve-year-old girl on a sugar plantation, whose ailing father returned to the place of his birth just a month earlier, on the morning she hears that "yellow Japs" have attacked? These are among the moments of excruciating confrontation experienced by Japanese American families, divided geographically and politically between Japan and Hawaii when the Pacific War exploded at Pearl Harbor.

Our House Divided focuses on seven personal stories of such families as they struggled with the emotions and events brought on by the war stories of the dilemma of first-generation Japanese Americans who were strongly attached both to the contry of their birth, and to the land where they had spent most of their lives and raised children in communities they had helped to build; and stories of the dilemma of second-generation Japanese Americans, whose loyalty to the United States was questioned even though they were American citizens. That these citizens turned that distrust into national respect through their celebrated achievements is also part of the poignant story.

Our House Divided, an inward journey for the author, will open the eyes and hearts of many readers who have roots in more than one country and culture.

T. K. Knaefler was born in the sugar plantation village of Pahoa, Hawaii, in 1929. She began her newspaper career while attending the University of Hawaii as a student columnist and summer reporter for the Honolulu Advertiser. She joined the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 1952 and was a staff reporter for twenty-five years. She has won more than a dozen writing honors, including prizes for her news and feature stories from the Honolulu Press Club and awards for her medical writing from the Hawaii Medical Association, American Cancer Society, and the American Psychological Association.

REVIEWS:

“The personalities and telling details that give depth to these complex situations have been skillfully drawn out by the author, in many cases after a self-imposed silence.”

Asian Migrant





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University Press Audiobooks
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