Karin Tanabe

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Karin Tanabe

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Born
Washington, DC, The United States
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April 2012


KARIN TANABE is the author of five novels, including A Hundred Suns and The Gilded Years (soon to be a major motion picture starring Zendaya, who will produce alongside Reese Witherspoon/Hello Sunshine). A former Politico reporter, she has also written for The Washington Post, the Miami Herald, the Chicago Tribune, and Newsday. She has appeared as a celebrity and politics expert on Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and CBS Early Show. A graduate of Vassar College, Karin lives in Washington, D.C.

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Popular Answered Questions

Karin Tanabe Hi May,

Thanks for your question and I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. Anita's story is such a fascinating one. I wasn't familiar with it when I was at…more
Hi May,

Thanks for your question and I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. Anita's story is such a fascinating one. I wasn't familiar with it when I was at Vassar, but when I learned about it in adulthood, I immediately thought it had to be told.

Quotes! I definitely have some favorites. On page 24, the following still sticks out in my mind:

"She could not protest. So she sat, nodded again, and went through the motions she had perfected through so many years of practice. And inside her thin shirtwaist, her heartbeat took off like a deer in the woods."

I like this particular line because it shows early on how practiced Anita is when facing racism. Part of passing was certainly being a great pretender, which she is, but it also shows how much she is impacted by the words of her peers, hence her heart taking off. I also still remember sitting in a library writing this phrase and wanting to find the perfect way to describe Anita's heartbeat. It took a few revisions, but that jolt of a startled deer I think describes it pretty well.

On page 173:

"Negro or not, you've been top of your class again and again. So no, you are not a coward. That school, those people, they are the cowards."

I like this line said by Bessie because it really reminds Anita that she is the brave one, the smart one, and that it's the policies that she has to get around by passing that are wrong.

On page 209, it's a short line, but I like it because it really reminds me of Edith Wharton, whose writing was a big inspiration for me for the New York scenes of the book.

"The faces in New York change, but the last names seldom do."

Thank you for posting!

(less)
Karin Tanabe Hi Dorie,

Thank you very much for your smart questions and for reading the ARC of The Diplomat's Daughter. Much appreciated! (Just want to note that th…more
Hi Dorie,

Thank you very much for your smart questions and for reading the ARC of The Diplomat's Daughter. Much appreciated! (Just want to note that there are some small spoilers ahead for those who haven't read the book yet.)

There were 11,500 German nationals and American citizens of German descent in American internment camps during WW2. Here is an article, if you'd like to read more about it, from a great source on internment during the war.

http://encyclopedia.densho.org/German...

As for China, about 18,000 European Jews came to Shanghai in the late 30s and 40s seeking refuge. They were primarily from Germany, Austria and Poland but other European countries as well.

I chose River Hills as I wanted a town near Milwaukee as most of the Germans who were interned were from the Midwest, with many from Wisconsin. In my research, I also found that some children did end up going to orphanages in Milwaukee when their parents were arrested so I knew I wanted a town near there. I chose River Hills because it looked beautiful and affluent, and I wanted my character Christian to come from that sort of background. I myself have never been to River Hills or the surrounding towns, but it looks lovely!

As for how much of the novel is based on facts, most of it is fiction, but I did try to stay true to the events of the time. As you know, the Japanese-Americans and German-Americans did face unjust internment. Both diplomatic communities were also interned until they sailed home. As for Shanghai, under Japanese rule it was a refuge for European Jews, though there was a ghetto. And Karuizawa in Japan was, and is still, home to a large foreign population, especially during the war when many foreigners were sent there by the Japanese government. That is probably the least known historical fact in the book and something I found very interesting and wanted to highlight.

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Average rating: 3.79 · 12,322 ratings · 1,828 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
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More books by Karin Tanabe…

The Price of Inheritance Out Today!

I am so, so excited that The Price of Inheritance is finally out! I hope you fall in love with the art mystery at the center of this book, and with my main characters Carolyn Everett and Tyler Ford.

Thank you for your support and happy reading! I hope there is a beach with your name on it to read this on.

xo Karin
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Published on August 05, 2014 07:37

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The Lover by Marguerite Duras is a wonderful book. It's set in 1929 in Indochine.
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More of Karin's books…
“A man who was not my husband, and would never be my husband, because he had no prospects or common sense. That was the best kind of man to have attached to you in a subway.”
Karin Tanabe, A Woman of Intelligence

“I want to sleep next to you and listen to you exist.”
Karin Tanabe, The Gilded Years
tags: love

“was far too young to be bugged, stalked, and murdered. I had never been to Bora Bora or finished In Search of Lost Time or run naked around the Washington Monument or gone skiing with Karl Lagerfeld. I had so much living to do.”
Karin Tanabe, The List: A Novel

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“There are two ways of spreading light: to be
The candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
Edith Wharton

“Life is always either a tightrope or a feather bed. Give me the tightrope.”
Edith Wharton

“It's not what the world holds for you. It's what you bring to it.”
Kevin Sullivan

“You may tire of reality but you never tire of dreams.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Road to Yesterday

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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