Snow Falling on CedarsBook - 1995
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
From Library Staff
SPL_Robyn Feb 04, 2020
2006—After receiving an anonymous letter of complaint, the Dufferin-Peel (ON) Catholic District School Board removed this novel about a murder trial from its highschool library shelves and the syllabus of a Grade 11 English course. In 1995, this bestselling book won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fic... Read More »
2006—After receiving an anonymous letter of complaint, the Dufferin-Peel (ON) Catholic District School Board removed this novel about a murder trial from its highschool library shelves and the syllabus of a Grade 11 English course. In 1995, this bestselling book won the PEN/Faulkner Aw... Read More »
SPL_Sonya Mar 12, 2017
Challenged for sexual content.
From the critics
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SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS (Vintage Books, $12.00) is a triumphant achievement. David Guterson's approach to weaving this tale that encompasses two generations of Japanese Americans is light-handed, letting the story play out in beautiful, unencumbered prose. The story takes place in the mid-twentieth century, darting back and forth from 1954 to the WWII era internment camp our main protagonist - who is inadvertently embroiled on the wrong side of a murder investigation - spent a chunk of time in. CEDARS presents an opportunity to examine how racism and xenophobia play in legal decisions.
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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David Guterson's approach to weaving this tale . . . is light-handed, letting the story play out in beautiful, unencumbered prose.
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