Book reviews

cover of Nichi Bei TimesNikkei literary pioneer re-examined reviewed by Naomi Hirahara, Nichi Bei Weekly, July 19, 2018

It’s an extremely readable book, a must-have companion piece to Okada’s novel … Abe, who lives in Okada’s early stomping grounds of Seattle, wrote the precise, well-researched 100-page biography of the author.

screencap of Foreword ReviewJohn Okada,” reviewed by Jeff Fleischer, Foreward Reviews magazine, summer 2018

The book begins with a detailed biography of the author by Frank Abe … This is a strong compilation, mixing Okada’s writing with copious analysis of it, and telling a story of his life that both echoes and informs his best-known work.”

International Examiner logoNew book looks behind the surface of Seattle classic, No-No Boy,” reviewed by Vince Schleitwiler, International Examiner, September 6, 2018

“Abe’s invaluable biographical essay also matches No-No Boy’s street-level geographical precision, mapping Okada’s Seattle childhood from the Yakima Hotel, run by his family, to Bailey Gatzert, the old Broadway High, and beyond.”

Columbia reviewRediscovering John Okada,” reviewed by Steve Scher, Columbia Magazine, Fall 2018

“Most welcome of all, the book presents Okada’s early writings, many in print for the first time. Okada’s voice is often funny and satirical. In an essay in the book, Floyd Cheung writes that the early pieces reveal Okada already considering ‘the absurdities of a world unhinged.’

Insightful analysis of the ‘Great Japanese American Novel,‘” reviewed by Gerald Sato, Rafu Shimpo, January 15, 2019

“I have been reading and re-reading all the pieces in this anthology. And as good literary criticism always makes a reader want to return to the subject of the analysis, I’ve gone back and re-read many passages of “No-No Boy.” I envy those who may be inspired by Abe’s anthology to read Okada’s “No-No Boy” for the very first time.”

Asian American Literary Review, reviewed by John Streamas, Spring/Summer 2019, Vol. 10, Issue 1, pp. 183-186

“The story that most interests me is a short piece called “What Can I Do?” Floyd Cheung notes that it has elements of psychological realism and a noir style.”

Choice Reviews, reviewed by Yuan Shu, Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, June 2019, Vol. 56, Issue 10, pp. 1243-1243

“In the afterword Abe reflects on the implication of Okada’s work for Muslim Americans caught in similar situations in the war on terror.”

The history and literature of Japanese American resistance to wartime incarceration

%d bloggers like this: