Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Farewell to Manzanar Paperback – July 11, 2017
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"[Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston] describes vividly the life in the camp and the humiliations suffered by the detainees... A sober and moving personal account."
“[This] book provides an often vivid, impressionistic picture of how the forced isolation affected the internees. All in all, a dramatic, telling account of one of the most reprehensible events in the history of America’s treatment of its minorities.”
—New York Times
—Los Angeles Times
About the Author
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The climate was hostile, with heavy winds howling down off of the mountains kicking up dust constantly. The cold winter weather penetrated the thin tar-papered walls of the barracks buildings. In spite of the remote, hostile environment, the inhabitants worked to make their temporary home more comfortable, by decorating and building partitions. They cultivated vegetable gardens and harvested fruit from the orchards. Kids went to school; babies were conceived and born at the camp. In short, life went on. However, the camp life lead to an inevitable deterioration in the family structure. Meals were communal rather than family events, and parents had no way of providing for their families in the traditional method. Jeanne's father had a very difficult time in camp, and deteriorated into alcoholism. As she wrote in the book though her life started in camp, her father's life ended there. He never recovered his fishing business or his sense of self worth.
The book provides an insightful glimpse into the daily life in the camps as well as the emotional and economic toll extracted from the inhabitants. They lost their businesses, their homes, their way of life and their dignity. In a sad commentary on the personal havoc wreaked by the camps, the author noted that the last to leave were the elderly people; they had nothing to return to, and no energy or confidence to go back into their old communities and rebuild so they hung onto camp life until forced to leave.
I had the opportunity to visit the desolate, remote Manzanar camp in 2012. Only a couple of barracks are left, but there is an excellent visitor center that faithfully recreates what it must have been to live there. You can drive around the roads and see how large the camp was. The magnificent mountain range looms large on the horizon, with tantalizing beauty and freedom, which was denied to those inside the barbed wire fences.
Farewell to Manzanar is a beautifully written important memoir since there is so little written about that time. Pay no attention to the number of 1 and 2-star reviews. It appears that most of those are written by school age children who were forced to read the book and do a review, and probably didn't appreciate the cultural significance of the internment camps.
Farewell to Manzanar is a memoir, written by a woman who was 7 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. She is a Nissei, which is a first-generation Japanese; her father left Japan as a young man to try his luck in the U.S. The story starts with her memories of December 7, 1941, and moves through the multiple relocations and forced evacuations and mysterious arrest and imprisonment of her father. She describes Camp Manzanar, and reflects poignantly about her father's emotional challenges and her own struggle with racial and cultural duality.
This is a lovely, low-commitment read which lends touching insight not only into the terrible way Japanese-American civilians were treated by the American government, but also, more broadly, the challenges I believe all Asian cultures face - the dilemma of assimilation v. individual rights. Racial bias exists in the oddest places and often, when encountered, is either innocuous or ridiculous enough to warrant disbelief, dismissal. However, the stain of personal shame is unavoidable in all of these situations, and Farewell to Manzanar eloquently depicts this exquisite conundrum.