The Life and Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy
Published by: University of Washington Press
376 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 21 b&w illus.
- ISBN: 9780295743516
- Published: July 2018
No-No Boy, John Okada’s only published novel, centers on a Japanese American who refuses to fight for the country that incarcerated him and his people in World War II and, upon release from federal prison after the war, is cast out by his divided community. In 1957, the novel faced a similar rejection until it was rediscovered and reissued in 1976 to become a celebrated classic of American literature. As a result of Okada’s untimely death at age forty-seven, the author’s life and other works have remained obscure.
This compelling collection offers the first full-length examination of Okada’s development as an artist, placing recently discovered writing by Okada alongside essays that reassess his lasting legacy. Meticulously researched biographical details, insight from friends and relatives, and a trove of intimate photographs illuminate Okada’s early life in Seattle, military service, and careers as a public librarian and a technical writer in the aerospace industry. This volume is an essential companion to No-No Boy.
This is a strong compilation, mixing Okada’s writing with copious analysis of it, and telling a story of his life that both echoes and informs his best-known work.~Jeff Fleischer, Foreword Reviews
Combining an extensive biographical treatment of Okada (1923–71), recovered works by Okada, and critical essays, John Okada offers an innovative introduction to the Japanese American author. . . . Recommended.~Choice
Thanks to the recent publication of a collection of previously unknown writings by Okada (John Okada: The Life & Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy), readers are in a better position to understand how these themes were embedded in the author’s life. Revisiting No-No Boy alongside the recent collection offers a valuable opportunity to connect the legacies of wartime incarceration with current struggles against a state that seems intent on repeating the injustices of the past.~Los Angeles Review of Books