An emotionally gripping
portrait of post-war Japan, where a newly repatriated girl must help a
classmate find her missing sister.
After spending the war
years in a Canadian internment camp, thirteen-year-old Aya Shimamura
and her father are faced with a gut-wrenching choice: Move east of the Rocky Mountains or go “back” to Japan.
Barred from returning home to the west coast and bitterly grieving the
loss of Aya’s mother during internment, Aya’s father signs a form that
enables the government to deport them.
But war-devastated Tokyo
is not much better. Aya’s father struggles to find work, compromising
his morals and toiling long hours. Meanwhile Aya, born and raised in
Vancouver, is something of a pariah at her school, bullied for being
foreign and paralyzed when asked to communicate in Japanese. Aya’s
alienation is eventually mitigated by one of her principal tormenters, a
willful girl named Fumi Tanaka, whose older sister has mysteriously
When a rumor surfaces that General MacArthur, who is
overseeing the Occupation, might help citizens in need, Fumi enlists
Aya to compose a letter asking him to find her beloved sister. The
letter is delivered into the reluctant hands of Corporal Matt Matsumoto,
a Japanese American serving with the Occupation forces, whose endless
job is translating the thousands of letters MacArthur receives each
week. Matt feels an affinity toward Fumi but is largely powerless, and
the girls decide to take matters into their own hands, venturing into
the dark and dangerous underside of Tokyo’s Ginza district.
Told through rich, interlocking storylines, The Translation of Love
mines this turbulent period to show how war irrevocably shapes the
lives of people on both sides—and yet the novel also allows for a
poignant spark of resilience, friendship, and love that translates
across cultures and borders to stunning effect.
Boktitel:The Translation of Love Författare: Lynne Kutsukake Bokförlag: Doubleday
About Lynne Kutsukake:
A third-generation Japanese Canadian, LYNNE KUTSUKAKE worked for many
years as a librarian at the University of Toronto, specializing in