2023: Naomi Hirahara’s latest novel explores Japanese Americans’ resettlement experience in 1946

Author Naomi Hirahara holds her latest novel “Evergreen.”

Evergreen, the sequel to Naomi Hirahara’s historical mystery Clark and Division, will be released on August 1, 2023.

Clark and Division, which follows a fictional Nisei woman’s travails from Manzanar to Chicago in 1944, was the recipient of the Mary Higgins Clark Award at the 2022 Edgar Awards.

Both books are part of Hirahara’s Japantown Mystery series, which will include linked characters but will be set in different time periods and geographies.

Evergreen explores the resettlement experience of the protagonist, Aki Ito, and her family in Los Angeles in 1946.

While Aki establishes their new home and nursing work in Boyle Heights, she attempts to adjust to the changes in her hometown.

Nearby Little Tokyo has been transformed into Bronzeville by Black defense workers from the Deep South.

Reminiscent of the America’s wartime detention centers, trailers in places like Burbank house large families and older Issei.

The arrival of a possibly abused Issei man at the Japanese hospital where Aki works forces her to deeply consider the emotional and financial cost of the forced removal and warfront experiences on Japanese Americans in general.

“I have long been a fan of Naomi Hirahara’s writing, but Evergreen may be my favorite of her novels,” stated New York Times bestselling writer Lisa See.

Evergreen’s local Southern California launch will be at Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd.,Pasadena on Wednesday, August 2, at 7 PM.

Hirahara will also be in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago on a book tour organized by her publisher, Soho Press.

On Thursday, August 10, she will be at the Santa Monica Public Library, MLK Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, from 6 to 7 PM as part of the Santa Monica Reads All Summer program.

Appearances in Orange County and San Diego also follow.

Hirahara will speak at two community events in September. First, the Japanese American National Museum on Saturday, September 9 at 2 PM and J-Sei in Emeryville on Sunday, September 24. Go to her website, www.naomihirahara.com, for more details.