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DUQ Reads 2017: When the Emperor Was Divine: Welcome!



Welcome to Gumberg's guide for our 2017 NEA Big Read Event!

The Gumberg Library selected When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka, a book about the experience of a Japanese-American family forced out of their home in Berkeley, California, and sent to live in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. 

Events and activities occurred during Spring 2017, and featured educational and cultural events that were relevant to the novel:

  • The kick-off event with a taiko drumming performance in the Genesius Theater was held on March 16th from 4:30 - 6 pm
  • The author of this book, Julie Otsuka, visited Pittsburgh for three book discussion sessions within the city. Julie was on campus Thursday, March 30th, 2017 from 4:30 - 6:30 pm in the Student Union Ballroom.
    • This event is open to the public!
  • Book talks and panel discussions were held across campus to discuss the book's relevance to current-day refugee and immigrant experiences

Click here to read more about the program's events.

Copies of When the Emperor Was Divine were distributed to members of the Pittsburgh-area community free of charge as part of participating in Gumberg’s program.



Gumberg Library was one of 77 
not-for-profit organizations chosen to receive a grant to hold a Big Read Project! The NEA Big Read awarded Gumberg a $15,000 grant to host a Big Read at Duquesne University.

For more information on
the Big Read, click here!