The Climate of the Country: A Novel

The Climate of the Country: A Novel

by Marnie Mueller


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This new novel by award-winning author Marnie Mueller tells the tragic and dramatic story of Tule Lake Japanese American Segregation Camp during World War II. It is narrated from the unique insider view of Denton Jordan, a conscientious objector, and his wife Esther, who are both living and working in the camp. 

In this gripping tale of the disintegration of loyalty, love, and friendship, we experience a disturbing piece of American history. Violence erupts when Camp Director Ted Andross imposes repressive and culturally insensitive measures against the Japanese American detainees. Already imprisoned Issei are asked to renounce the Emperor - their God - in order to prove their loyalty to the United States. Their children, even though they are U.S. citizens, are forced to make the agonizing choice between family and country. The crisis pits Andross against his staff, husband against wife, and friend against friend. In the midst of this tension, Denton, a pacifist during a time when being a man meant "shouldering a gun for America," is struggling to save his disintegrating marriage with Esther, the daughter of Jewish intellectuals working to get Jews out of Europe. 

The novel explores the difficulty of living up to one's own principles and the psychological impact of trauma on personal relationships - dramatizing how intense pressure can lead to anger, self-doubt, infidelity and murder.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781880684580
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Publication date: 02/28/1999
Edition description: 1ST
Pages: 305
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Marnie Mueller (born Tule Lake War Relocation Center) is an American novelist.

What People are Saying About This

Norman Rush

Marnie Mueller has sited her new novel at the heart of one of the great all-American injustices of modern times the internment of Japanese American citizens at Tule Lake during the Second World War. She has given us a morally intricate story splendidly evocative of the place and the times, told with great drive and clarity, peopled with vividly realized characters.

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