Topaz, Brian Komei Dempster’s debut poetry collection, examines the experiences of a Japanese American family separated and incarcerated in American World War II prison camps. Dempster is a professor of rhetoric and language and a faculty member in Asian Pacific American Studies at the University of San Francisco, and the editor of both From Our Side of the Fence: Growing Up in America’s Concentration Camps (Kearny Street Workshop, 2001), which received a 2007 Nisei Voices Award from the National Japanese American Historical Society.
Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back (Norton) byJanice P. Nimura, is a true story of five young Japanese girls–all daughters of samurai–who, in the 1870s, were sent by the Japanese government to San Francisco to learn American customs. Ruth Ozeki calls it “ history writing at its finest and required reading for anyone interested in Japan.” Nimura is a book critic, independent scholar, and the American daughter-in-law of a Japanese family. She lives in New York City.