Snow Falling on CedarsBook - 1995
The discussion topics, author biography, historical material, and bibliography that follow are meant to enhance your group's reading of David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars . We hope that they will provide you with new ways of looking at--and talking about--a novel that has been widely praised for its eloquent dramatization of themes of love, justice, racism, community, and conscience. These ideas arise organically from the book's suspenseful story of a murder trial, its evocation of a lost love, and its brooding, poetically nuanced portraits of character and place.
Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award
American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award
San Piedro Island, north of Puget Sound, is a place so isolated that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man's guilt. For on San Pedro, memory grows as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries--memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and the Japanese girl who grew up to become Kabuo's wife; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbors watched. Gripping, tragic, and densely atmospheric, Snow Falling on Cedars is a masterpiece of suspense-- one that leaves us shaken and changed.
"Haunting.... A whodunit complete with courtroom maneuvering and surprising turns of evidence and at the same time a mystery, something altogether richer and deeper."--Los Angeles Times
"Compelling...heartstopping. Finely wrought, flawlessly written."--The New York Times Book Review
Baker & Taylor
A Japanese-American fisherman's 1954 murder trial becomes the backdrop of a story that follows a doomed love affair between a white boy and a Japanese girl, a simmering land dispute, and the wartime internment of San Piedro's Japanese residents. Reissue. Movie tie-in. 150,000 first printing.
In 1954, Ishmael Chambers, a local reporter who lost an arm in the war, covers the murder trial of a Japanese American fisherman, whose wife had been Ishmael's childhood sweetheart
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t is 1954, and Japanese-American World War II veteran Kabuo Miyamoto has been charged with the murder of fellow fisherman and veteran Carl Heine. His trial begins in the midst of a snow storm that has struck the town of Amity Harbour, on the island of San Piedro off the coast of Washington State. Reporting on the trial is Ishmael Chambers, who inherited the small local paper from his father when he returned from the war. Carl was a solo gill-netter fisherman, and his body was pulled from the ocean, caught in his own nets, after the boat was found drifting off the coast on a foggy September morning. In the grip of the snow storm and the trial, the islanders are forced to face old grudges and deep seated prejudices as the evidence against Kabuo mounts.
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