Augie Reads 2020 - Japanese Internment
In the fall, first year students at Augustana College will learn about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. That's the subject of this year's book in the Augie Reads program, "When the Emperor Was Divine" by Julie Otsuka.
Associate Professor of History Brian Leech says each year, new students all read the same book, and it's used in some of their classes in the fall.
"It seemed really relevant to today even though it's about a historical period, an historical event. It's a very well written and frankly even short book so you get a really good sense of good writing style, but we're marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II."
In each chapter, a different member of a Japanese-American family describes their internment. Leech says their uncertainly, fear, and loneliness are relevant to today when so many of us are trying to live through a national emergency.
Augie Reads began in 2,000 and some of the past featured authors include James Baldwin, Ray Bradbury, and J.D. Vance, author of "Hillbilly Elegy."