Local art fans likely will be familiar with local artist Lily Havey’s watercolors depicting the lives of Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II. Over the past seven years she’s had a number of exhibits displaying these works, including one currently at the Salt Lake Main Library Urban Room — Social Justice: Personal Views Through Images and Words — through June 30th.
Now literary fans can join in the fun as Havey has recently transformed her examination of the experience in a new memoir titled Gasa Gasa Girl Goes To Camp: A Nisei Youth behind a World War II Fence, published by the University of Utah Press. Betsy Burton of The King’s English selected Gasa Gasa Girl Goes To Camp as one of her favorites on Radio West’s annual summer reading program (listen to the podcast here; Havey is discussed at at 44:20). She says she was “overwhelmed” by a “fascinating tale on all levels.” The story, she says, has “a great voice . . . plucky, mischievous young girl who tells the truth” about the troubled relationship of her parents, the history of her grandparents and the experience of the camps. Havey’s art fans won’t be disappointed either, as the book is illustrated with historical photographs and watercolor paintings by the author.
The King’s English will host a reading with the author/artist on Wednesday, June 18th, from 7 to 9 pm.