Little boy looking nervously at soldier

Desert Exile was written in 1982 (new edition in 2015). The book chronicles the experiences of the Yoshiko Uchida, who was incarcerated in an internment camp during World War II.  

In the epilogue to the book, Uchida says: 

“I wrote [the book] for the young Japanese Americans who seek a sense of continuity with their past. But I wrote it as well for all Americans, with the hope that through knowledge of the past, they will never allow another group of people in America to be sent into a desert exile ever again.”

The book is freely available in the Digital Library of Japanese Incarceration, where you can also learn much more about the history of the internment camps in the United States.

Read this short article for a general history of the internment. 

Engage with this NPR Resource on 3 Different Views of the WWII Japanese Internment at Manzanar.

And, check out George Takei’s recent graphic novel, They Called Us Enemy, about Takei’s internment. Here is a short interview on PBS with Takei. 

Submitted by Sarah A. Soule & Virginia Mak; Illustration partially based on a photo by Russell Lee