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Silver Like Dust (book)

Creators: Kimi Cunningham Grant


Memoir published in 2011 centering on the author's grandmother, who slowly tells the author the story of her life and incarceration at Heart Mountain , over the course of several visits with the author. Her grandmother's detailed narrative from the perspective of a young woman of twenty when the war breaks out—the happy childhood in Los Angeles, the shock of war and forced removal, meeting her husband at the Pomona Assembly Center , marrying in camp, and having her first child there, before resettling in Seabrook Farms , New Jersey—is contrasted with the author's vastly different life as a contemporary young woman of roughly the same age when she begins the project. Having grown up in Pennsylvania, apart from her grandmother in Florida, the visits also allow the two women to really get to know each other for the first time. The book includes various brief historical snippets that provide the larger context of the war and the Japanese American experience for readers with no background on the topic.

While Terry Ann Lawler in Library Journal calls Silver Like Dust "a heartwarming, informative, and accessible tale" in which the author "seamlessly intersperses the narrative with facts about World War II, Japan, and the period" and Kirkus Reviews calls it a "[w]ell-written book about life in a Japanese internment camp and the social and political forces that allowed their existence," Publishers' Weekly finds the story told "in a segmented fashion that fails to cohere" and calls it "tedious... and dissonant...." [1]

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho

Might also like Looking Like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese-American Internment Camps by Mary Matsuda Gruenewald; Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp by Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey; After the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara

Footnotes

  1. Terry Ann Lawler, Library Journal 137.7 (2012), 50–51, accessed on March 31, 2013 from Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost; Kirkus Reviews , Nov. 1, 2011, accessed on March 31, 2013 at https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/kimi-cunningham-grant/silver-like-dust/ ; Publishers' Weekly , Oct. 31, 2011, p. 46.
Media Details
Author Kimi Cunningham Grant
Pages 325
Publication Date 2011
Reviews

Reviews

Bush, Vanessa. Booklist , January 1 & 15, 2012, 34. ["Grant offers a portrait of the stoicism and patriotism of her family as well as differences in generations, as the stories evoke her own feelings of rage."]

Kirkus Reviews , Nov. 1, 2011. ["Well-written book about life in a Japanese internment camp and the social and political forces that allowed their existence—though Obaachan’s reticence subdues the emotional intensity of the story."]

Lawler, Terry Ann. Library Journal 137.7 (2012), 50–51. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost.["This is a heartwarming, informative, and accessible tale of personal family history."]

Publishers' Weekly , Oct. 31, 2011, p. 46. [Unfortunately, Grant... has chosen to tell this story in a segmented fashion that fails to cohere"]