The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka!

This is Otsuka's second novel, and it tells the story of Japanese "picture brides" in pursuit of the American dream. The Buddha in the Attic was also a National Book Award finalist.

Of the five finalists, Otsuka was the big surprise—a relative newcomer up against four lit awards veterans (Russell Banks, Don DeLillo, Steven Millhauser and Anita Desai). Read more about the award here.

Not everyone is thrilled about Otsuka's win, however. Washington Post book critic Ron Charles called it a "disappointing choice from a list of finalists that gave strong preference to short fiction." He includes a list of novels that should have been considered, including State of Wonder. (via EarlyWord)

What do you think? Does Otsuka deserve the award, or is there another book you wish had won?

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