Cover of: Snow falling on cedars | David Guterson

About the Book

On San Piedro, an island of rugged, spectacular beauty in Puget Sound, home to salmon fishermen and strawberry farmers, a Japanese-American fisherman stands trial, charged with murder. The year is 1954, and the shadow of World War II, with its brutality abroad and internment of Japanese Americans at home, hangs over the courtroom. Ishmael Cambers, who lost an arm in the Pacific war and now runs the island newspaper inherited from his father, is among the journalists covering the trial--a trial that brings him close, once again, to Hatsue Miyamoto, the wife of the accused man and Ishmael's never-forgotten boyhood love.

Now, as a heavy snowfall impedes the progress of Kabuo Miyamoto's trial, he and others must reckon with the past, with culture, nature, and love, and with the possibilities of the human will. Both suspenseful and beautifully crafted, Snow Falling on Cedars portrays the psychology of a community, the ambiguities of justice, the racism that persists even between neighbors, and the necessity of individual moral action despite the indifference of nature and circumstance.

About the Edition

Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award 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.

Edition Notes

1080 Lexile.

Vintage contemporaries


Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
PS3557.U846 S65 1995

The Physical Object

xiii, 460 p. :
Number of pages

ID Numbers

Open Library
Internet Archive
LC Control Number
Library Thing

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