Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Release Day! Scenes from GARDEN OF STONES

I don't know if I've ever been so excited about a launch day. I'm on pins and needles, hoping that you, dearest reader, will like GARDEN OF STONES!

Meanwhile, I thought I would share some images that illustrate scenes from the book. Like most of the images I have shared in the past, these were taken by a combination of government-sponsored photographers and internees. (Most ran in an article in The Atlantic in 2011 - click here to see more.)

Early in the book, a funeral for a Japanese-American businessman in Los Angeles is interrupted by plainclothes detectives who forcibly remove one of the guests, a husband and father who does not know what he is being accused of. His family has no idea where he is taken. This happened frequently in the days following Pearl Harbor.

Not long afterward, 14-year-old Lucy Takeda reads a handbill that has been posted in her neighborhood. She doesn't entirely understand the magnitude of the changes the Evacuation Order will bring.

Her mother spends many hours trying to figure out which belongings to pack, knowing they can bring only what they can carry. The rest must be sold for pennies on the dollar. Here's a view of people's belongings on assembly day.

A lovely young woman and her child...I imagine that Lucy's mother, Miyako, wore a similar expression of uncertainty and apprehension as they waited to board the train that would take them away from their home.

This photo is actually of internees arriving at the detention centers where they waited in the weeks before the relocation camps opened. In my book, Lucy and Miyako went directly to Manzanar, but many internees had to spend days or weeks in assembly centers which were frequently made from horse stalls at race tracks.

I include this picture because of the stark face-off between the frightened internees and the soldiers, who in many cases were not sure what they were supposed to be doing.

A first look at Manzanar might have looked much like this. In the book, Lucy and her friends walk the "broad avenues" of the camp, pictured below. Wide roads and gardens separated the resident blocks. Because they weren't paved, dust was an eternal problem.

Early camp meals were virtually inedible to those accustomed to a traditional Japanese diet. Even for Americanized palates, they were far from appealing. This meal includes beans, rice, prunes, and bread. Internees were pressed into kitchen service.

Shortly after arrival, all of the internees were vaccinated. Lucy, like many of the children, was made ill from too high a dosage.

A key scene takes place in a frozen camp garden. Here, you see internees planting the gardens which eventually provided much of their food and all of their fresh produce.

Nearly every adult in the camps held a job, at a fraction of the pay they would earn outside. Miyako works at a dress factory, for instance. One of the largest operations was this net factory, where camouflage nets were made and sent to the front lines. The women wore masks to protect them from the hemp fibers.

I hope these images have brought the story to life...there are many more to be found; you're a google search away from a fascinating record of this time in history.


Maggie said...

These are amazing photos and they are totally bringing the book to life for me as I'm reading it. I love the book and I've learned so much from reading it!

Anonymous said...

Sophie, congratulations on the publication of Garden of Stones. You might be interested in a document that was written during the campaign against California Proposition 187, in the early 1990s, which summarizes the juridical basis of exclusion. I've posted it at craniata.net/public/antiacts_rev.pdf. Please note that it's a summary, and so it wasn't intended to be exhaustive.

Sophie Littlefield said...

maggie, thank you so much!

And dear anonymous, i would love to read the document. i wasn't able to get to the link to work. thanks for pointing me to it.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, that's odd...try it now.

Summary of US and California Anti-immigrant Acts

Anonymous said...
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