Desert Exile by Yoshiko Uchida follows the story of the author and her family as they are taken from their home in San Francisco to the internment camp at Topaz during WWII. Her documentation and explanation of her experiences were heart wrenching and at times difficult to read passed. In her recounting, there is a thread of anger and pain as she shows the life her family had lived before to the difficult times at the camps.
It was interesting to read about the specifics of the time of the internments, such as the schools, the assemblies, and the marching band that had greeted them at Topaz. Uchida tries to provide that bridge of understanding for newer generations of Americans that don’t quite know the tragedies of the Japanese American people. And I found it both important and powerful that she had the ability to be both frank and descriptive with the world her and her family were thrown into.
Final Rating: 4/5
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Maxwell Suzuki is a writer, poet, and photographer based in Los Angeles.