Set in the 1950s on the fictional San Piedro Island in the northern Puget Sound region of the state of Washington, the plot revolves around the trial of Kabuo Miyamoto, a Japanese American accused of murdering Carl Heine, a respected fisherman in the close-knit community. The trial really serves as a means of exploring the inter-ethnic tensions of the post-WWII era, as flashbacks reveal the shared history of the island's residents including the forced internment of its Japanese population during the war. The novel also delves into the love affair between Ishmael Chambers, a local reporter, and Hatsue Miyamoto, Kabuo's wife.
The 801st greatest book of all time
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This book is on the following lists:
- 31st on The 100 Favorite Novels of Librarians (Bookman.com)
- 43rd on Koen Book Distributors Top 100 Books of the Past Century (themodernnovel.com)
- PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (PEN/Faulkner)