Brazil-Maru

A Novel by Karen Tei Yamashita

“This enriching novel introduces Western readers to an unusual cultural experiment, and makes vivid a crucial chapter in Japanese assimilation into the West.” —Publishers Weekly

September 1993
6 x 9 | 248 pages
Paperback Original

ISBN: 978-1-56689-016-8.

$14.95

Description

This engrossing, multi-generational novel tells the story of a group of Japanese immigrants who attempt to create a utopia in the Brazilian rain forest, and it uncovers the little-known history of the large Japanese-Brazillian community.

After arriving in 1925 on the Brazil-Maru to farm and create a new civilization, three generations of Japanese immigrants first survive the hardships of clearing the land, and then endure suspicion and humiliation during World War II. As Kantaro Uno, their self-appointed charismatic leader, persuades this group of socialist Christians to embrace his passions for baseball, painting, and chickens, they struggle with the issue of maintaining their identity while adapting to a new world.

Awards

1993 Village Voice Best Book of the Year

Reviews

“Immensely entertaining.” —Newsday

“Poignant and remarkable.” —Philadelphia Inquirer

“Warm, compassionate, engaging, and thought-provoking.” —Washington Post

“An intricate and fascinating epoch.” —San Diego Review

“With a subtle ominousness, Yamashita sets up her hopeful, prideful characters—and, in the process, the entire genre of pioneer lit—for a fall.” —Village Voice

“A splendid multi-generational novel . . . rich in history and character.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Resonates with contemporary concerns. . . . A refreshing reminder of what the genre can offer: a setting so well researched that it doesn’t need to call attention to itself, and a story so complexly suggestive that history becomes important again.” —Belles Lettres

“Full of sad and poignant scenes and some hilarious ones, too.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Engrossing. . . . Yamashita’s ear for emotional nuance draws the reader in.” —Utne Reader

“Historically informative and emotionally complex.” —Bloomsbury Review

“Fascinating. . . . A book one can’t put down.” —Asian Week

“Unique and entertaining.” —International Examiner

“Particularly insightful.” —Library Journal

“Informative and timely.” —Kirkus

“Yamashita’s heightened sense of passion and absurdity, and respect for inevitability and personality, infuse this engrossing multigenerational immigrant saga with energy, affection, and humor.” —Booklist

“This enriching novel introduces Western readers to an unusual cultural experiment, and makes vivid a crucial chapter in Japanese assimilation into the West.” —Publishers Weekly

“[Brazil-Maru] is history re-made most charmingly, large with character, quick with dreams.” —Gish Jen