Set in 1944 Chicago, Edgar Award-winner Naomi Hirahara’s eye-opening and poignant new mystery, the story of a young woman searching for the truth about her revered older sister's death, brings to focus the struggles of one Japanese American family released from mass incarceration at Manzanar during World War II.
Set in 1944 Chicago, Edgar Award-winner Naomi Hirahara’s eye-opening and poignant new mystery, the story of a young woman searching for the truth about her revered older sister’s death, brings to focus the struggles of one Japanese American family released from mass incarceration at Manzanar during World War II.
Twenty-year-old Aki Ito and her parents have just been released from Manzanar, where they have been detained by the US government since the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, together with thousands of other Japanese Americans. The life in California the Itos were forced to leave behind is gone; instead, they are being resettled two thousand miles away in Chicago, where Aki’s older sister, Rose, was sent months earlier and moved to the new Japanese American neighborhood near Clark and Division streets. But on the eve of the Ito family’s reunion, Rose is killed by a subway train.
Aki, who worshipped her sister, is stunned. Officials are ruling Rose’s death a suicide. Aki cannot believe her perfect, polished, and optimistic sister would end her life. Her instinct tells her there is much more to the story, and she knows she is the only person who could ever learn the truth.
Inspired by historical events, Clark and Division infuses an atmospheric and heartbreakingly real crime fiction plot with rich period details and delicately wrought personal stories Naomi Hirahara has gleaned from thirty years of research and archival work in Japanese American history.
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“Clark and Division is a moving, eye-opening depiction of life after Manzanar. Naomi Hirahara has infused her mystery with a deep humanity, unearthing a piece of buried American history.”
“Like no other work before, Clark and Division captures the day-to-day uncertainty of the post concentration camp Nisei world, where poverty, racism, and squalid living conditions co-exist with freedom, excitement, and dreams for a better future in wartime Chicago. Only Naomi Hirahara can mix a portrayal of a people in transition that feels authentic down to the smallest detail with an engrossing mystery filled with unexpected twists. Whether you are already a fan or are about to become one, this is not to be missed!”
—Brian Niiya, editor of the Densho Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia of Japanese American History
“Elegant prose matches the meticulous research. This well-crafted tale of injustice isn’t just for mystery fans.”
“Part historical fiction, part thriller, all a deeply moving family story, set in 1944 Chicago against the backdrop of the shameful treatment of Japanese Americans by the US government. Hirahara’s gifted writing is a master class in how to bring a historical epoch to life.”
—Sara Paretsky, bestselling author of the Chicago detective V.I. Warshawski series
“Clark and Division does what crime novels do best: It uses a wonderfully wrought, ticking time-bomb of a story to illuminate a larger social issue, in this case the incarceration and resettlement of tens of thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II. A jewel of a novel. Buy it, read it, enjoy it.”