No-No Boy

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By John Okada

Okada gives the perspective of a no-no boy, a Japanese-American man who would neither denounce his Japanese heritage nor fight for the U.S. Army during WWII. This novel takes place after the main character spent two years in a Japanese internment camp, and two years in prison after saying no when asked to join the U.S. Army. Okada's novel No-No Boy shows the internal and external struggles fought by Japanese-Americans in that time period, be they no-no boys or not.

John Okada was born in Seattle, Washington in 1923. He attended the University of Washington and Columbia University. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II, wrote one novel and was dead of a heart attack at the age of 47. John Okada died in obscurity believing that Asian America had rejected his work.