by Bruce Rutledge, the North American Post
John Okada’s novel “No-No Boy” could have been forgotten forever if it weren’t for Shawn Wong and a group of Asian American writers who found it in a used bookstore, decided to republish it, and basically sold it out of the back of Shawn’s car until University of Washington Press decided to publish and distribute it. Today “No-No Boy” is considered a seminal novel for Asian American writers and for popular understanding of what happened to Japanese Americans in their home country during World War II. The book has sold more than 150,000 copies and continues to sell well.
This fascinating story of a novel’s rise from the dustbin of history has been in the news lately, thanks to a biography—“John Okada: The Life and Rediscovered Work of the Author of ‘No-No Boy,’—released by UW Press last year and edited by Frank Abe, Greg Robinson, and Floyd Cheung. But if you want to hear firsthand about the resurrection of “No-No Boy,” a wonderful opportunity awaits on UW campus on Thursday evening, January 30.
University of Washington Professor Shawn Wong will deliver a public lecture in room 130 of Kane Hall on the university campus at 7pm. The lecture, which is hosted by The Friends of the Libraries, is free and open to the public. But to get your free ticket, register here: https://www.lib.washington.edu/support/events/friends-annual-lecture. Queries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-616-8397.