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Joy Kogawa

Joy Kogawa

Essays on Her Works

By Sheena Wilson

Joy Kogawa, prolific author of poetry and prose, is most famously associated with her award winning first novel Obasan (1981): a semi-autobiographical chronicle of Japanese Canadian experiences during the Second World War. Since Obasan, Kogawa has written three more novels: Itsuka (1992), The Rain Ascends (1995), and Emily Kato (2005). Kogawa has also written children's fiction: Naomi's Road (1986) and Naomi's Tree (2008), as well as several poetry collections. In addition to being a renowned author and poet, Kogawa has dedicated herself to community activism, notably the Japanese Canadian redress movement and the Toronto Dollar project. She is a Member of the Order of Canada with numerous honorary degrees and lifetime achievement awards to her name. The essays in this collection explore Joy Kogawa's work, both literary and activist. The list of contributors includes Rocío G. Davis, Glenn Deer, Jonathan Hart, Julie McGonegal, Ann-Marie Metten, Tim Nieguth, Irene Sywenky, Barbara Turnbull, and Sheena Wilson. In a significant move forward from Kogawa-criticism written to date, these essays give attention to Kogawa's work beyond Obasan. This collection includes an interview with Joy Kogawa, which reveals both new biographical information and connections between Kogawa's life story and written work.


Guernica Editions (Writers Series)


200 pages |

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About the author

Sheena Wilson is Assistant Professor at Campus Saint-Jean at the University of Alberta.