Joy Kogawa


Born
in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
June 06, 1935

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Joy Kogawa was born in Vancouver in 1935 to Japanese-Canadian parents. During WWII, Joy and her family were forced to move to Slocan, British Columbia, an injustice Kogawa addresses in her 1981 novel, Obasan. Kogawa has worked to educate Canadians about the history of Japanese Canadians and she was active in the fight for official governmental redress.

Kogawa studied at the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan. Her most recent poetic publication is A Garden of Anchors. The long poem, A Song of Lilith, published in 2000 with art by Lilian Broca, retells the story of Lilith, the mythical first partner to Adam.

In 1986, Kogawa was made a Member of the Order of Canada; in 2006, she was made a Member of the Order o
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Average rating: 3.64 · 6,522 ratings · 538 reviews · 17 distinct worksSimilar authors
Obasan

3.64 avg rating — 5,898 ratings — published 1981 — 24 editions
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Itsuka

3.79 avg rating — 156 ratings — published 1992 — 5 editions
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Naomi's Road

3.64 avg rating — 158 ratings — published 1986 — 5 editions
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The Rain Ascends

3.46 avg rating — 92 ratings — published 1995 — 5 editions
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Gently to Nagasaki

3.85 avg rating — 66 ratings3 editions
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Naomi's Tree

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4.16 avg rating — 32 ratings — published 2008 — 2 editions
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A Song of Lilith

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3.74 avg rating — 23 ratings — published 2001
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A Garden of Anchors: Select...

3.80 avg rating — 10 ratings — published 2005
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What Do I Remember of the E...

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4.20 avg rating — 5 ratings
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A Choice Of Dreams

3.33 avg rating — 3 ratings
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More books by Joy Kogawa…
Obasan Itsuka
(2 books)
by
3.64 avg rating — 6,053 ratings

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“From my years of teaching I know it's the children who say nothing who are in trouble more than the ones who complain.”
Joy Kogawa, Obasan

“Where do any of us come from in this cold country? Oh Canada, whether you admitted it or not, we come from you we come from you. From the same soil, the slugs and slime and bogs and twigs and roots. We come from the country that plucks its people out like weeds and flings them into the roadside. We grow in ditches and sloughs, untended and spindly. We erupt in the valleys and mountainsides, in small towns and back alleys, sprouting upside-down on the prairies, our hair wild as spiders' legs, our feet rooted nowhere. We grow where we are not seen, we flourish where we are not heard, the thick undergrowth of an unlikely planting. Where do we come from Obasan? We come from cemetaries full of skeletons with wild roses in their grinning teeth. We come from our untold tales that wait for their telling. We come from Canada, this land that is like every land, filled with the wise, the fearful, the compassionate, the corrupt.”
Joy Kogawa, Obasan

“Some people," Aunt Emily answered sharply, "are so busy seeing all sides of every issue that they neutralize concern and prevent necessary action. There's no strength in seeing all sides unless you can act where real measurable injustice exists. A lot of academic talk just immobilizes the oppressed and maintains oppressors in their positions of power.”
Joy Kogawa, Obasan

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