This was an unusual book, and not at all what I was expecting When reading the back of the book, you are led to believe the novel is about the internment of Japanese Canadians in WW2 Actually, it s about the consequences of a Japanese woman who has an affair with a hakujin Caucasian businessman The story is told by a single Japanese woman neighbour, and she is an unreliable narrator She is plagued by demons of her past that are slowly revealed, and she is hard to follow, and seems quite confused She is perhaps mentally unstable The writing is actually quite compelling, and although it takes a very long time to get anywhere, they story kept me interested.
I am a huge fan of this book curious why the reviews are mediocre Very thought provoking, creative twists, some education as to the internment camps and their damage psychologically, and some surprises as well.
The Beautiful Chisako And Her Lover Are Found Murdered In A Park, Members Of The Small Ontario Community Must Finally Acknowledge Certain Inescapable Truths Set In The S, The Electrical Field Reaches Deep Into The Past To Explore The Dire Legacy Of The Internment Of Japanese Canadians During The Ô read ä The Electrical Field by Kerri Sakamoto î War
This book may well be impossible for me to review.
Really, I m sitting here stuck It s not a bad book, though I didn t really like it as though my preferences are indicative of objective quality and what would even be objective quality in art or literature But that s a whole nother topic AnywayThe Electrical Field is the story of Asako Saito, a second generation Japanese woman apparently living in Canada, according to the catalogue data, who lived in one of the internment camps during WWII I actually grew up near one of those camps Tule Lake, CA It was, I think, the largest, and also had the highest security George Takei lived there for a time And for some reason, it never seemed to be all that well known, or at least not referenced with the same frequency of Manzanar Factoid apparently my hometown has several of the Tule Lake houses s Ó The Electrical Field Ó This book was on my radar for a while it won the 1999 Commonwealth Writer s prize for best first book and it has an awesomely cool cover Are you sensing a but I did find it hard to read the story deals with a middle aged Canadian Japanese woman in a rural Ontario setting who cares for her elderly bedridden father and chicken sexing brother it s his job, not a fetish She is stuck in the past the Canadian WW2 camps where people of Japanese origin were incarcerated and, in many cases, robbed of their homes and property , in the present with her senile father s needs, and physically she seems to live in the middle of a field She becomes involved with a young girl, and a local scandal involving the Japanese community The story should have been completing but Sakamoto circles back and forth between past and present, and the same routines and scene I thought Sakamoto was very clever in her crafting of the story and her weaving together of the parallels in the lives of 2 women of 2 different generations It s the first book I have ever read with so much detail as to body functions, odours, sensations and visuals and I can t say I liked that much The Electrical Field is an interesting device to hold everything together, but not used enough, I felt As for the sexing of chicks part at the end, I am not sure why that is there, except to show us where the brother and his girl work and to bring back a sense of normalcy in everyone s life.
I expected something similar to Joy Kogawa s Obasan and was sorely disappointed The story is loosely arranged around the alleged murder of a Japanese man s wife and her lover in a Toronto area park, but actually uses the murder as a foil to dig into the psyche of the murdered woman s neighbour Asako, whose family experienced the incarceration of Japanese Canadians in WWII Unfortunately, characterization was thin at best, and the first person approach failed miserably I got so tired of living inside Asako s head, and longed to hear the story from anyone else s viewpoint but hers.
Mostly I just wanted this book to be over It was far too slow for me It seemed as if the author took a tragic event and tried to add some drama to it that just did not exist When the story starts, we already know what happened and who did it Within a few pages we also know what the main characters issues are Since these are never resolved in any way, there is really no conflict in the story Without conflict or resolution, or let s face it a single likeable character, what exactly was the point in writing this