"Love and Truth are Indivisible": Meet Joy Kogawa at Don Mills Branch on May 2, 2017

April 20, 2017 | Book Buzz

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Joy kogawa
In her memoir, Gently to Nagasaki, Joy Kogawa examines atrocity – by countries and by individuals – and describes the difficult task of maintaining one's faith when confronted with barbarism. In an interview with the Vancouver Sun's Douglas Todd, Kogawa stated that reconciliation cannot be achieved without first confronting the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. She has often explored these uncomfortable truths in her writing, first gaining widespread attention with her novel Obasan, which describes the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II that affected 21,000 citizens including Kogawa and her family. 

In Gently to Nagasaki, Kogawa revisits this dark period in Canadian history and the psychological impact on her family and the Japanese Canadian community as they were stripped of their possessions, security and dignity. She also examines the horrifying cruelty that has taken place during her lifetime including Nagasaki, the Nanking Massacre and the Holocaust for example. 

Gently to nagasakiHorrifying cruelty, however, is not only perpetrated by strangers. When Kogawa was a teenager, she discovered that her beloved father, a respected Anglican priest, was sexually abusing boys. In an earlier novel, The Rain Ascends, Kogawa wrote a fictionalized version of her experience but when discussing that book, she realized she had to address more directly the impact of her father's crimes on herself, her family and his victims. 

Kogawa, one of Canada's most cherished literary voices, will be appearing at Don Mills Branch on Tuesday May 2 at 7 pm to read from Gently to Nagasaki

Please call or visit the branch to register for the event. 

Don Mills Branch
888 Lawrence Avenue East