by Jamie Ford (2009). A novel that plays in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. It artfully switches between the war years (1942-45) and contemporary America, recounting the story of a Chinese American boy, raised in a traditional Chinese family by taciturn parents, who falls in love with a Japanese-American girl. As part of the notorious Presidential Public Proclamation No. 1, the girl, her family and the entire Japanese community is evacuated, “for their own safety” to camps in the deserts of California, Idaho and Texas. The story moves between the past and the present and between the enforced separation by the paranoia of WWII and the cultural gap between the Chinese-Americans who had suffered a bloody occupation by the Japanese Imperial army and Japanese emigrates to America. This historic novel, capturing the changing spirit of two disparate ages, is more bitter than sweet, reflecting the emotional harvest of my own mid-life crisis.