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Chapters: The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka January 2024

A literary free-for-all book discussion group.

January 9th 2023 @7:15pm The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka

About the Author

Julie Otsuka was born and raised in California. After studying art as an undergraduate at Yale University she pursued a career as a painter for several years before later turning to writing. She received her MFA from Columbia University. Her first novel, When the Emperor Was Divine  (Knopf, 2002), is about the incarceration of a Japanese-American family during World War II. It is a winner of the Asian American Literary Award and the American Library Association's Alex Award, and was named a New York Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year. The book is based on Otsuka’s own family history.

Her second novel, The Buddha in the Attic  (Knopf, 2011), is about a group of young Japanese ‘picture brides’ who sailed to America in the early 1900s to become the wives of men they had never met and knew only by their photographs. It is a winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, France’s Prix Femina Étranger, the Albatros Literaturpreis, the Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction, and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. A New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times bestseller, The Buddha in the Attic has been translated into 22 languages. It was selected as a New York Times Notable Book, a San Francisco Chronicle and Boston Globe Best Book the Year, and was named a Top Ten Book by Library Journal and Vogue.

Her third novel, The Swimmers  (Knopf, 2022), is about a group of obsessed recreational swimmers and what happens to them when a crack appears at the bottom of their local pool.

Otsuka is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Harper’s, Newsweek, 100 Years of The Best American Short Stories, The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story, The Best American Short Stories 2012, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012, and has been read aloud on PRI’s “Selected Shorts” and BBC Radio 4’s “Book at Bedtime.” She lives in New York City, where she writes every afternoon in her neighborhood café.

Videos with the Author...coming soon