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Cynthia Kadohata Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Floating World (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Heart of the Valley of Love (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Glass Mountains (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kira-Kira (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Weedflower (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cracker! (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Outside Beauty (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Million Shades of Gray (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Thing About Luck (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Half a World Away (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Checked (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Place to Belong (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saucy (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Charlie Chan is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction(1993)Description / Buy at Amazon

Cynthia Kadohata has been a novelist ever since the year 1982. When Cynthia Kadohata was only 25 years of age and rather directionless in life, she decided to take a Greyhound bus trip to the West Coast, then eventually through the Southwest and then the South. It was during the Grey Hound bus trip, that Kadohata was able to rediscover, a talent that she has always overlooked, ever since she was young. Despite the fact that she has never considered working on fiction, the year that followed Cynthia Kadohata decided to start working on fiction. In the year 2013, Cynthia Kadohata emerged the winner during the National Book Awards for her novel, The Thing About Luck. Cynthia Kadohata was born and raised in Chicago. Her first short story was published in the year 1986 and was featured in The New Yorker.

Kadohata’s second novel was titled Weedflower and was published in the year, 2006. The book was centered on the Poston internment camp where Kadohata’s father was imprisoned during the World War. Kadohata’s third book was centered on a war dog’s perspective and was published in the year 2007. Currently, Cynthia Kadohata resides in California.

Cynthia Kadohata Best Books

Kira Kira

Kira Kira, a fictional memoir of familial love is the first novel by adult novel writer, Cynthia Kadohata. Narrating her story through a strong and believable voice, of one Takie Takeshima, Cynthia Kadohata has set her novel in the post-World War II, United States. Katie in this book reflects on her relationship with one Lynn, her teenage sister as well as Sam, her brother. She recalls the life that they used to have when her parents owned a grocery store in Iowa. The failure of the business and the hard-headed nature of the residents eventually forced the family to relocate to Georgia. In Georgia, her family joined other Japanese workers, who used to provide cheap labor within the poultry industry. For Lynn and Katie, chauvinism is part of their day-to-day life in Georgia. The workers who serve within the poultry farms are considered second-class citizens, while the workers of Japanese origin are treated with suspicion. The protagonist’s mother decides to put money aside so that she can fulfill her dream of buying a house for her family, while Katie’s father, on the other hand, works for much longer hours at the plant.

The author’s story soars up when Katie decides to focus on the relationship that she has with her family. According to Katie, her sister Lynn is more than perfect. From time to time, Lynn tries to warn Katie about the prejudice that she was going to face in school. Lynn also teaches Katie a Japanese word, Kira-Kira that means glittering. It does not take long before the word Kira-Kira becomes Katie’s favorite word and an adjective that she chooses to refer to anything that she falls in love with including butterflies, Kleenex and puppies as well. As Lynn continues to make friends, she gives her sister the chance of joining in. However, things begin to change when Lynn began to fall sick. When it becomes apparently clear that she is never going to recover, Katie begins to experience real heartache for the very first time in her life. Author Cynthia Kadohata has managed to pen down a rather convincing narrative about family bonds, about overcoming obstacles as well as the clash of cultures that was rampant during the 1950’s. Her placid storytelling does not stray from the narrator’s honest voice. With that said, author Cynthia Kadohata has managed to deliver a quiet and powerful story, which will still linger even after the pages are turned.

Cynthia Kadohata

Cracker: Best Dog in Vietnam

War dogs take to Vietnam during the war are the unsung heroes. Apart from undergoing intense training combined with constant danger and dreadful working conditions, war dogs received very little rewards and many at times they were left behind to survive. Cracker is an excellent book, despite being fiction, it is based on real accounts, which were provided by the various interviews that were conducted on some dog handlers. In Cracker, the author introduces the readers to Cracker, an intelligent German shepherd dog, that understands more than 90 words and also lives a life that is full of royalty. Ever since she was young, Cracker has resided with Willie. When she turned two, her life changed dramatically. After Willie’s father was fired from work, Willie’s family needed to relocate to an apartment. Unfortunately, the new apartment does not allow dogs.

Unable to find a new home or family for Cracker, they decide to enlist Cracker into the army, since they are looking for more dogs. As she was being ferried to her new home, Cracker mourns her departure from Willie. She is more than certain that Willie was going to rescue her, as she was being shipped to unfriendly locations and then handed over to a strange looking man. Cracker is introduced to Rick Hanski, who volunteered to serve in the army when he was only 17 years of age. Rick Hanski enlisted with the army so that he could be able to locate the enemy, bombs, and traps. The lives of Rick and Cracker together with that of thousands of soldiers depend entirely on the success of their training, and also how well they are going to work with one another.

Writer, Cynthia Kadohata carefully weaves her narrative using two voices; that of Cracker and that of Willie. She uses these voices to describe the conditions, concerns, fears, and bond between Willie and Cracker. Rick is informed that he should never at any one point take his eyes off cracker while at war. Cracker, on the other hand, must be able to separate the alien smells to establish real threats. Nonetheless, these two characters do not work in complete isolation, instead, the two characters develop a rather close relationship with several other handlers as well as their dogs. The unique bond that Cracker and Rick rise above everything else. The attachment that Cracker and Rick have is formed from complete respect, love, trust, and admiration for one another. With that said, Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam is a deep and emotional story about a dog and his master and a dog that manages to earn the respect of everyone she meets along the way.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Cynthia Kadohata

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