Julie Otsuka, nominated for the 2011 National Book Award for The Buddha in the Attic, will be at Symphony Space this week. Otsuka, also the author of When the Emperor Was Divine, will be discussing The Buddha in the Attic, with the performer and essayist David Rakoff (Fraud, Half Empty). The book traces the lives of a group of Japanese picture brides who come to America in the early 1900s, beginning with the boat journey on which they imagine their husbands and concluding with their “disappearance” during World War II. Like Otsuka’s first book, The Buddha in the Attic is about identity and what it means to be “other” in uncertain times. An excerpt will be performed by Rita Wolf. The Buddha in the Attic is on the 2011 Great Group Reads list and Otsuka was kind enough to be on our panel of authors for the 2011 New York National Reading Group Month event.