Press Release Archive 2011 - 1999

Author of When the Emperor Was Divine to Give Public Lecture on Campus

2006. 10. 10.

Julie Otsuka, author of the Albertson College first year novel When the Emperor Was Divine, will give a free public lecture next month.

Otsuka will read from her work at 7 p.m., November 8 in the Langroise Recital Hall.
Otsuka's work explores the Japanese-American experiences similar to that of the Minidoka internment camp during World War II. Although When the Emperor Was Divine is a novel, Otsuka's family did share some of the overall experiences of the novel's characters. Her grandfather was arrested by the FBI the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, and her mother, uncle, and grandmother were sent to an internment camp several months later. They remained in a camp in Topaz, Utah, for three and a half years.

Otsuka was born in 1962 and raised in California. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University, where she received her B.A. in art, and for several years she pursued a career as a painter before later turning to writing. Her fiction has been anthologized in Scribner's Best of the Fiction Workshops 1998. When the Emperor Was Divine is Otsuka's first novel.

The first year novel program at Albertson College of Idaho is part of the larger first year experience, which is designed to ease the transition into college. All entering students, as well as interested returning students, staff, and faculty read the first year book and participate in a series of events that explore the themes of the book. The book is also incorporated into freshman coursework.