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One Book One Philadelphia

By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Open the website of the Free Library of Philadelphia and find a ten-year list of wonderful One Book One Philadelphia selections and you’ll bet that the program will survive the next ten years.

Having read each book, I have favorites, and this year’s selection, The Buddha in the Attic is among them – winner of the prestigious PEN/Faulkner award for literature and a piece of history as well – depicting the sad plight of Japanese picture brides coming here to meet husbands, toiling in the fields and the internment of Japanese citizens during World War II.

The book inspired a musical composition by a Curtis Institute student, a martial arts class and a meditation class, many interactive discussion groups and a moving spoken word presentation about a family member who was interned.

At Free Library Parkway Central March 13th, 7:30pm, meet Julie Otsuka, who has written a compelling account of which Americans won’t be proud, but should learn.

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