Book - 2011
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Bin Okuma, a celebrated visual artist, has recently and quite suddenly lost his wife, Lena. He and his son, Greg, are left to deal with the shock. But Greg has returned to his studies on the East Coast, and Bin finds himself alone and pulled into memories he has avoided for much of his life. In 1942, after Pearl Harbor, his Japanese Canadian family was displaced from the West Coast. Now, he sets out to drive across the country: to complete the last works needed for an upcoming exhibition; to revisit the places that have shaped him; to find his biological father, who has been lost to him. It has been years since his father made a fateful decision that almost destroyed the family. Now, Bin must ask himself whether he really wants to find him. With the persuasive voice of his wife in his head, and the echo of their great love in his heart, he embarks on an unforgettable journey that encompasses art and music, love and hope.

A story of great loss, a story of redemption, a story of abiding love, Requiem is a beautifully written and evocative novel about a family torn apart by the past and a man's present search for solace.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781443406895
Branch Call Number: F ITA
Characteristics: 317 p. ; 24 cm


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Aug 20, 2014

I really liked this read - the history & writing. I didn't realize that Canadians were also interned & shameful history.

Jul 12, 2014

This is a wonderful book, although I found the reality of the treatment of the West Coast Japanese very upsetting. While ii is a work of fiction, I know from friends who experienced the relocation that descriptions of the events reflect the truth. Ms. Itani has a wonderful way with words. I was captivated throughout.

Jul 15, 2013

completely different - about japanese canadians in bc internment camps. i need to finish this. it just didn't capture me enough.

May 05, 2013

I loved this book and found the characters complex and interesting.
The unresolved grief from his old losses, the recent loss, and the interweaving of the above made for a moving account. The story of the families life in the camp and their struggles afterwords are insightful.
Beautifully told.

MariePat Apr 17, 2013

I did not enjoy this book, I found the plot and characters flat. The subject matter is important to know about because it is part of Canadian history. But bearing that, I could not get into this book. I am going to try Obasan by Joy Kogawa instead.

Sep 27, 2012

Good book. Highly recommend

Sep 22, 2012

Bin Okuma goes on a journey, crossing Canada east to west, revisiting a past that includes his experience as a Japanese internee, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, pushed inland from his family home in a coastal fishing village. He is also grieving for his wife Lena who has recently died and preparing for an exhibit of his paintings.

Itani?s beautiful prose carries a book that lags in plot until about halfway through. It is very much like a requiem. {Listening to Beethoven while you read is completely appropriate!] It is very like reading a recent bestseller, Per Petterson?s Out Stealing Horses. I liked her novel Deafening more.

Aug 02, 2012

Although I learned a little, I did not find the book that insightful.

Apr 11, 2012

This book really picked up in the last third if you have the patience to get through the first 2/3 I thought it was worth it. I didn't give up on the book because I so enjoyed reading the beautiful descriptions of the Canadian landscape.

Mar 28, 2012

Beautiful language and musical imagery. I found the story line was a little too subdued to hold my interest, though. Even the big reveal happened with a whimper. I think the story was just way too introspective for my taste. The subject (Japanese detainees) is a serious one that should indeed be explored and I'm looking forward to reading more on this sad period of Canada's history.

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