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This is a graphic novel about the Japanese American internment camp experience. Kiku Hughes draws with facts from her own history, as a Yonsei. Displacement as a book contains a mix of fact, fiction, fantasy and history. Kiku never met her grandmother who died before she was born, she writes though with incomplete family history from her mother. This is a similar experience for people within a diaspora who settle to live in the United States.
The book begins with Kiku going with her mother to visit San Francisco where her grandmother used to live, prior to the internment camp period for the Japanese Americans during WW2. What happens next is fantasy as Kiku time travels and basically spends an unknown period in the past at the time when her grandmother was at the internment camp with her parents. The book goes on and ends with parallels about the Japanese American WW2 camps with Trump presidency’s detention camps at the southern United States border.
Though this book is short, there are bittersweet moments, because with history there is always the issue of sadness and a feeling of "what if." I wondered what happened to characters beyond the one character that Kiku “befriended” as with the instances for where there were Japanese in the book, there were no translations, so unless you read Japanese, readers are left to wonder what was it that was written in the book?
Reviewed by Linda Y on Jan 26, 2021
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