Joy Kogawa

Winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence

Acclaimed author Joy Kogawa is best known as the author of Obasan (1981), a Canadian novel that has become essential reading for a nation.

Obasan is based on Joy and her family’s forced relocation from Vancouver during the Second World War when she was six years old. The novel remains ‘a touchstone’ for the internment of Japanese Canadians during this era. Joy has also worked extensively to educate the public about this dark period in Canadian history and she actively fought for government redress.

Joy’s other novels for adults include Itsuka (1992, republished as Emily Kato in 2005) and The Rain Ascends (1995). Her works for children are Naomi’s Road (2005 – also produced as an opera by Vancouver Opera in 2005 and 2013) and Naomi’s Tree (2009). Since 1967, Joy has also published several poetry collections, including A Garden of Anchors: Selected Poems (2003).

Among her many honours, Joy has received an Order of Canada (1986), an order of British Columbia (2006) and, from the Japanese Government, an Order of the Rising Sun (2010) for ‘her contribution to the understanding and preservation of Japanese Canadian history.’

For more information about Joy, please visit her official website.