Joy Kogawa was born in Vancouver in 1935 to Japanese-Canadian parents. During WWII, Joy and her family were forced to move to Slocan, British Columbia, an injustice Kogawa addresses in her 1981 novel, Obasan. Kogawa has worked to educate Canadians about the history of Japanese Canadians and she was active in the fight for official governmental redress.
Kogawa studied at the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan. Her most recent poetic publication is A Garden of Anchors. The long poem, A Song of Lilith, published in 2000 with art by Lilian Broca, retells the story of Lilith, the mythical first partner to Adam.
In 1986, Kogawa was made a Member of the Order of Canada; in 2006, she was made a Member of the Order of British Columbia. In 2010, the Japanese government honored Kogawa with the Order of the Rising Sun "for her contribution to the understanding and preservation of Japanese Canadian history.
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