Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Upcoming Literary Salon in Berkeley, CA

When: Sunday, August 25, 3:00 p.m.

Who: Naomi Hirahara

Where: RSVP for venue address (Berkeley, CA)

This is a free event, but YOU MUST RSVP to attend.
Space is limited. Venue address sent with acceptance.
Please make a comment below with your email address.

Naomi Hirahara

Naomi Hirahara writes about the lives of the Nisei and Kibei (Americans of Japanese descent), many of whom lived through the catastrophe of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or were detained in interment camps in the United States during World War II. Stories of the Nisei (Japanese Americans born in the United States) and Kibei (Japanese Americans born in the United States who later removed to Japan) incorporate members of Hirahara's own family: her "father, Isamu … [was] born in California, but was taken to Hiroshima, Japan, as an infant. He was only miles away from the epicenter of the atomic-bombing in 1945, yet survived." Naomi's mother, Mayumi, or 'May,' was born in Hiroshima and lost her father in the blast."

Hirahara is known to a broader audience through her mystery fiction: novels featuring a septuagenarian Nisei gardener named Mas Arai. As in her nonfiction, Hirahara uses elements drawn from both her personal his

tory and her research. "Mas is inspired by my father," she told Hartlaub, "who also happens to be a gardener and an atomic-bomb survivor." Arai has become popular among readers and critics alike, and the author has featured him as an unlikely sleuth in a series of stories that, as with her nonfiction, help reveal the inner workings of Japanese-American society to readers. She also writes the Officer Ellie Rush series.

Iced in Paradise: a Leilani Santiago Hawai'i Mystery is her latest mystery: Leilani Santiago is back in her birthplace, the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i, to help keep afloat the family business, a shave ice shack. When she goes to work one morning, she stumbles across a dead body, a young pro surfer who was being coached by her estranged father. As her father soon becomes the No. 1 murder suspect, Leilani must find the real killer and somehow safeguard her ill mother, little sisters, and grandmother while also preserving a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend in Seattle. (Prospect Park Books)

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