Title Profile & Character Information

Snow Falling on Cedars

Annotation
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.---Los Angeles Times
-Compelling...heartstopping. Finely wrought, flawlessly written.---The New York Times Book Review

Awards
1995  PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
1994  Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award
1995  Pacific Northwest Bookseller Awards


Author Notes
  David Guterson is the author of the novels Snow Falling on Cedars and East of the Mountains, and of the story collection The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind. His forthcoming novel, Our Lady of the Forest, will be published in October of 2003. A Guggenheim fellow and Pen/Faulkner Award winner, he lives in Washington State.
Characters
NameMiyomoto, Kabuo
GenderMale
OccupationFisherman
TraitsJapanese American
Married
Father
Murder suspect

NameMiyomoto, Hatsue
GenderFemale
TraitsJapanese American
Married
Mother

NameChambers, Ishmael
GenderMale
OccupationsNewspaper manager
 Journalist
TraitUnmarried

GenreLove story
Legal
    --Courtroom
Historical
Mystery
Cinematization
    --Movie
Fiction
TopicsHomefront during war
First loves
Childhood sweethearts
Interracial relationships
Japanese Americans
World War II
Japanese internment
Relocation camps
Land disputes
Murder investigations
Murder trials
Community relationships
Moral dilemmas
Racism
Justice
Jealousy
Commercial fishing
SettingSan Piedro, Washington
Puget Sound, Washington
Washington
Island
Courtroom