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The Yokota Officers Club book cover

First published: 2001

Publisher: Knopf

Length: 384 pages

The Yokota Officers Club

Bernie Root, rootless Air Force brat, wins a dance contest. The prize is a trip to Tokyo where she discovers the terrible price that is paid when the secrets nations hide end up buried within families.

After her first year of college, Bernie joins the oddball band of eight nomads that is her family at their new assignment—Kadena Air Base—and discovers just how badly she needs to break out of their orbit.


So when a dance contest first prize, a trip to Japan, offers a chance to escape, she grabs it, playing second banana to a third-rate comedian on a tour of Japan’s military bases. At their grand finale at the Yokota Officers Club, Bernie is reunited with the family’s beloved former maid who reveals just why her family is so off-kilter.


“Bird has David Sedaris’ gift for mining scathing wit from family dysfunction. This novel will win her the large readership she deserves.”


Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A Significant Book of 2001, Mercury News

Best Books of the Year, Amazon Fiction and Literature Editors

Best of the Year 2001, Library Journal

Novel of the Year, Texas Institute of Letters

Sarah Bird's books stacked

The Yokota Officers Club

“A gem, polished and faceted in a way that pulled me into the heart of it with the first paragraph…important, touching, meaningful, and uplifting.”

Chicago Tribune

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