On the Road

Obasan – Plot Overview

It is 1972. Naomi Nakane, a thirty-six-year-old middle school teacher, recalls visiting a coulee, or ravine, in Granton, Alberta, with her uncle Isamu, her father’s half-brother, who she simply calls Uncle. They made the trip annually, beginning in 1954. The school year begins. Cecil, Alberta, where Naomi teaches, is a claustrophobically small town. Its inhabitants, …

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Obasan – Chapters 8–11

Summary: Chapter 8 Obasan saves the twine from Aunt Emily’s package, as she saves everything: string, thread, tiny amounts of leftover food. Naomi reflects that perhaps painful memories, like Obasan’s most disgusting bits of forgotten food, are horrifying only if brought out and looked at. Obasan says, “ ‘Everyone someday dies,’ ” a sentence she …

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