New novel explores growing up Japanese-Americanby Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Twin Cities writer David Mura says his novel, "Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire," was inspired years ago when he read a story about the son of a "no-no boy."
No-no boys were pariahs in the Japanese-American community. They were men who refused to take a loyalty oath to the U.S. while being held in the internment camps for people of Japanese descent at the start of World War II.
Mura's central character, Ben Ohara, is the son of a no-no boy. The book follows him as he comes to understand the pressures which have shaped his life.
This is Mura's first novel. He told Minnesota Public Radio's Euan Kerr taking the loyalty oath was not as simple a proposition as it might seem.
- All Things Considered, 09/25/2008, 4:50 p.m.