Author: Okada, John
Title: No-No Boy
Place Published: Rutland, Vermont
Date Published: 1958
308 pages. (8vo) original cloth and boards in striking pictorial dust jacket. First Edition.
Dust jacket designed by M.Kuwata,(the Japanese artist who illustrated the first American edition of Rashomon). Scarce. Unpopular in the Japanese-American community because of its stark realism, the first edition sold fewer than 1500 copies.
A cornerstone of modern Asian-American literature, sometimes inaccurately called "the first novel ever published by a U.S.-born Japanese American", but certainly the first book of fiction about the Japanese internment by a Japanese-American - though the story centers on its aftermath, the story of a young Nisei imprisoned for refusing to support the American war effort, "fighting his own private war of conflicting loyalties." Posthumously resurrected in the 1980s, and now considered an Asian-American literary classic.
The only book written by the 34 year-old son of Japanese immigrants, taken from his Seattle home after Pearl Harbor for internment at a camp in Idaho. He was released to join the US Army Air Force, received college degrees at the University of Washington and Columbia, and died prematurely at 48, while working on a second novel, which was never completed.