Books & Conversations Past Events
Author Discussion—Blossoms in the Desert: Topaz High School Class of 1945, presented by alumni of the Utah concentration camp high school
Blossoms in the Desert features 60 oral histories that bring to life the bittersweet memories of a limited education in a makeshift school and the lifetime friendships forged during three years. Editor Darrell Hamamoto, professor of Asian American Studies, University of California, Davis, along with members of the graduating class of 1945 will discuss the project and their personal experiences.
Author Discussion—Footprints in My Rearview Mirror: An Autobiography and Christian Testimony of George Oiye by George Oiye
Join author George Oiye as he reads selected passages from his autobiographical work, Footsteps in My Rearview Mirror. Oiye recounts key moments of his life and has included photos from an album documenting his service with the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion during World War II (currently on display in Object Lessons and featured on the National Museum's website). Oiye also describes how these pivotal moments shaped his spiritual journey, leading him to become a Christian Bible Teacher/Evangelist. Each anecdote elaborates on how his faith helped him to face life's challenges, including his military service. A Q&A session and book signing will follow the reading and photo album discussion.
Speaking with Ancestors: Discovering Families Through the Written Word
Readings and Conversations
Join the National Museum for readings and conversations with writers and poets who write about family, including: Larry Jaffe, Michael Datcher, Dima Hilal, and Princess Peter-Raboff. Moderated by Peter J. Harris, writer and producer of Inspiration House, KPFK (90.7 FM).
Author William Hohri will read from his third book and his first novel, Manzanar Rites. He tells the story of different rites of passage for the inmates of the euphemized "Manzanar War Relocation Center." Nisei adolescents discover what sexual attraction is. They stumble from wishing to be white to defining what they can reasonably achieve. An older Nisei turns informant and is later beaten up. Issei organize to contact the Spanish embassy to negotiate their right to decent food. On the eve of the first anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the actions merge to a confrontation with the camp's administration that results in death and detention within detention.
Breaking the Silence: Daughters Unveil Their Father's WWII Experiences
Film Screening, Reading, and Conversation with the Authors
Featuring author Louise Steinman and journalist Wendy Hanamura, who will both talk about their motivations, struggles and discoveries as they went through the process of reconstructing their fathers' war experiences. Weaving together her father's letters from wartime—found after his death—with the story of her own journey, Steinman tells a compelling story in her new book The Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father's War. Steinman, a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times, curates literary and performing arts programs for the Los Angeles Public Library. Wendy Hanamura documents her father, Sergeant Howard Hanamura, and his march through war and racial turmoil while fighting in the Japanese American 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team in her Emmy award-winning HONOR BOUND—A Personal Journey. As an experienced journalist, Hanamura has produced documentaries, news features, and has covered international and local news for the last 17 years.
There will be a screening of special film clips from HONOR BOUND—A Personal Journey, and Steinman will read and sign copies of her new book, The Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father's War.
Una Storia Segreta: A Discussion About the Italian American Internment and Evacuation During World War II
Lecture and Book Signing
Lawrence DiStasi?, editor of the recently published Una Storia Segreta: The Secret History of Italian American Evacuation and Internment During World War II (Heyday Books: 2001), will discuss the little-known experience of the 600,000 Italian enemy aliens nationwide who were variously restricted, interned, and evacuated during the wartime. His remarks will give special emphasis to the experience of Italian Americans in California, where government measures against Italian enemy aliens were most severe. A discussion to follow will offer a forum to examine both similarities and differences in the experiences of the Italian and Japanese communities respectively, and will address comparisons with similar measures being taken today in response to the events of September 11, 2001.