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Download Stubborn Twig: Three Generations in the Life of a Japanese American Family Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Stubborn Twig: Three Generations in the Life of a Japanese American Family Audiobook, by Lauren Kessler Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.17 out of 53.17 out of 53.17 out of 53.17 out of 53.17 out of 5 3.17 (24 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lauren Kessler Narrator: Christine Williams Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2008 ISBN: 9781455190904
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Stubborn Twig is the true story of immigrants making their way in a new land, a moving saga about the promise and perils of becoming an American.

Masuo Yasui arrived in America in 1903 with big dreams and empty pockets. He worked on the railroads, in a cannery, and as a houseboy before settling in Oregon to open a store, raise a large family, and become one of the area’s most successful orchardists. As Masuo broke the color barrier in the local business community, his American-born children did the same in school, scouts, and sports. But their lives changed forever following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when they were forced from their homes into vast inland camps. Although shamed and broken, the Yasui family would yet endure to claim their place as Americans.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Lauren Kessler transports us to another era, accurately and vividly.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Remarkable…excels in its historical sweep and in Kessler’s flair for dramatic storytelling…an eye-opener.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Her research into each of her subject’s lives is diligent and she recounts the intimate tragedies, the determination, hard work, and family solidarity that characterized the Yasuis’ rise to affluence and success. Kessler has created a praiseworthy chronicle of the ‘process and meaning of becoming an American, of promise and prejudice in a new land.’”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Gives a clear picture of the Japanese American experience in one rural community. By personalizing the effects of racism, Kessler provides a valuable account that belongs in most Asian American history collections.”

    Library Journal

  • “This book puts human faces and emotions to the events of that period…Part sociological study, part American history, part family saga, this title will make a significant addition to any library.”

    School Library Journal 

  • “An important and moving document of one American family’s experience.” 

    Booklist

  • “A somber but illuminating reminder of the perniciousness of prejudice—and of the terrible toll it exacts.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brittany | 2/18/2014

    " Wow, it took me almost two years to finish this book. But it's not because I didn't like it, it was OK, but because other books took precedent. It also didn't help that it reads like a textbook, so be prepared for that if you decide to read this book. Otherwise it was an interesting read overall. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hilary | 2/15/2014

    " Tough, tough start to reading it. Its very text book reading and I have only read up to page 35. I'm not sure I'm going to make it any further along. I do know two people that have read the whole book and said it got much easier and interesting once you got past about the first 80 pages. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lynne | 2/9/2014

    " Too often this was just a list of the accomplishments of the family. I really, really didn't care about the high school activities and awards of the second generation. I get that it was about the degree of assimilation prior to WWII, but it was just tedious to read. When the author describes the anti-Japanese feeling prior to the war, it was interesting and informative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Salop | 2/5/2014

    " really interesting history of a Japanese family who settled in Hood River area of OR. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 2/1/2014

    " Read for book group. Worth reading. We read it because it was the one book the Oregon Library Assn recommended all Oregonians should read for the state's 150th birthday. Good choice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Evelyn | 1/27/2014

    " Three generations of a Japanese family--the first generation immigrated to Portland in 1905 (Masuo Yasui). He settled in Hood River and grew apples as well as many other activities and was involved in the community. He was arrested following Pearl Harbor and was interred nearly 5 years. His family members were sent to the internment camps a little later. The internment was the culmination of preudice. No evidence was found that any were disloyal to the U.S. The disruption this caused to their lives was incredible with life long results. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 1/20/2014

    " If your an Oregonian and around Hood River this will be especially interesting. I found it fascinating "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mandy | 1/20/2014

    " This fascinating topic is presented in a format that renders it as dry as a bone. Unfortunate. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vickie Woods | 1/17/2014

    " Great history lesson for Oregonians "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 James | 1/16/2014

    " It was ok. A bit too linear, but in interesting reach into Oregon history that I didn't know. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leanne Cragun | 1/11/2014

    " I enjoyed this book for the most part. The author repeats some events which doesn't seem necessary. The last section of the book was not as interesting as the first two sections of the book. I was mainly interested in the history of the family, not the contemporary members of the family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ketti | 7/26/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book, very well-written. I've read quite a few books about Japanese Americans, but this is a true story & centered is Hood River, not to far from my home. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Malbadeen | 5/6/2013

    " oh that's right, I forgot - I don't really like historical novels. It always seems to come to the same thing: people, en masse, are kind of insecure jerks and they do crappy unforgivable stuff to each other. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 10/17/2012

    " Excellent nonfiction book about 3 generations of a Japanese-American family. The father (grandfather, great-grandfather) settled in Oregon in 1902. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kasey | 1/26/2012

    " I give up. Made it to the second section and I just can't take it anymore. Life is too short to read a bad book. I hope the governor can forgive my lack of Oregon-ness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate Caruso | 1/2/2011

    " Didn't quite finish this book, as it did get a bit dry, but the history of the era was very interesting to me. I thought that this would actually have been more effective as an historical novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 10/11/2010

    " Easy to read. And, good historical information about the personal experience of the WWII internment of Japanese families. As well, good historical information about Japanese families settling in Hood River, Oregon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annette | 9/6/2010

    " A little slow at the start, but once it gets going, a very good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancyhoward | 6/12/2010

    " This is about a Japanese family from The Hood River Valley.
    Pretty enlightening about this Liberal society of Hood River. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jamie | 5/27/2010

    " An interesting nonfiction book about racism of Japanese-Americans on the west coast. I enjoyed it because the story takes place in Hood River, only a few hours from where I live "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicole | 4/7/2010

    " interesting historical detail--reminiscent of college-course related material...I would have liked it as recommended course reading but couldn't keep my interest to finish before library due date.. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 3/24/2010

    " I just couldn't get into this book. We had book club about it today and most of us didn't finish it. It had some good topics for discussion though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 3/6/2010

    " Very interesting subject. Writing style was a little to academic to really 'love'. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Myrtie | 2/2/2010

    " Loved this book, true story of Japanese man coming to US settling in Hood River, OR It does make me a bit angry how the Japenese were treated during that time. This was a selection for both my book clubs. "

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About the Author

Lauren Kessler is the author of several works of narrative nonfiction, including the Washington Post bestseller Clever Girl and the Los Angeles Times bestseller The Happy Bottom Riding Club. Her journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, O magazine, and The Nation. She directs the graduate program in literary nonfiction at the University of Oregon.

About the Narrator

Christine Williams is a singer and actor based in Ashland, Oregon. Her performance credits include productions at regional theaters and on concert stages across the country and around the world, from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Barbican Centre in London to the Aspen Music Festival and the Grotowski Institute in Poland.