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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.

Cover of When the Emperor Was Divine

Welcome to Augustana, Class of 2025!  This summer you will read the 2021 Augie Reads book, When the Emperor Was Divine, by Julie Otsuka. A short, 2-3 page essay about the book is due on the first day of your FYI 101 or FYH 101 class.

Although Otsuka's book is a work of fiction, it is based on real historical events: the incarceration of Japanese Americans by the United States government during World War II. If you are not familiar with this moment in U.S. history, please read some of the background information linked below to help you understand the book and write about it thoughtfully in your essay.

Japanese-American Incarceration: Introduction

Japanese Internment: Maps and Photographs