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Augie Reads 2021: When the Emperor Was Divine

High-quality resources for students and faculty related to the 2021 Augie Reads book.

Note to first-year students: The resources listed in this section of the Augie Reads guide are primarily subscription databases provided by Tredway Library. You will be able to access them both on and off campus this fall. However, they are not necessary for your summer reading.


At some point during fall semester, your instructor for FYI 101 or FYH 101 may ask you to conduct some research on Otsuka's book, When the Emperor Was Divine, using Tredway Library's resources. What kinds of topics might you investigate?

Click on the tabs to the left to find electronic resources and databases you can use to investigate any of the following:

  • Definitions and background. If you are unfamiliar with the history of Japanese-American incarceration during World War II, you may want background to help understand the novel. You might also want to look up the names of historical figures, events, places, concepts, etc., that Otsuka mentions to better understand how they work in the novel.
  • Book reviews. Read reviews published in newspapers and magazines when the book was came out 2002 to learn what critics thought about its merits. What praise and criticism did they offer, and why?
  • Primary sources about Japanese American incarceration. Primary sources are written at the time an event occurs, often by those with direct knowledge of the event.
  • In-depth articles and studies. You may identify one or more topics related to the book that you want to pursue in more depth, possibly by reading articles written by experts in various related subject areas. These topics include:
    • Literary criticism
    • Historical research on elements of Japanese-American incarceration
    • Racism in the United States
    • Responses to personal and historical trauma
    • Other topics?