New Novel Set in Japanese-American Internment Camp

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Author Margaret Bane Eberle draws from personal experiences to pen a story of courage, faith and redemption.

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Following the shock of the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the designation of military zones within the United States. His Executive Order 9066 gave the U.S. Army power to remove “all persons of Japanese parentage” from west coast states – Washington, Oregon and California – and placed in isolated inland camps. During Ronald Regan’s presidency, an apology was issued for the government’s actions. “However, many Americans are still unaware of this disgraceful chapter in our history,” says author Margaret Bane Eberle. She hopes to change that with the release of her new novel, “The Gem of the Desert: A Japanese-American Internment Camp” (published by iUniverse).

In “The Gem of the Desert,” readers meet Claudia Donaldson, a typical teenager looking forward to her senior year in high school, but the year would not be what she had envisioned. The year is 1942 and her professor father has just accepted an administrative position at Topaz, a Japanese-American internment camp in Utah's desert. Leaving friends behind, Claudia, her parents and her younger sister Angie will live in rough barracks, as other Caucasian staff, enduring dust storms, cafeteria food and communal bathrooms.

Perhaps Claudia's greatest shock is moving from a large prestigious high school to a senior class of 26 in the tiny town of Delta, where the academic and extracurricular choices are slim. Claudia manages to overcome the shortcomings in town while gathering a large circle of wise, funny friends in a youth fellowship group in camp. As “The Gem of the Desert” follows Claudia through the trials and joys of her senior year, it also depicts the isolation and gloom of the Japanese-Americans as well as their examples of grace under pressure.

With “The Gem of the Desert,” Eberle hopes readers of all ages will recognize their own courage in the face of injustice and never hastily judge any people or situation out of hand.

About the Author
Margaret Bane Eberle lived at Topaz, the Japanese-American internment camp, from 1942 to 1943. After leaving Topaz, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in primary education. She is the mother of four daughters and lives in Vancouver, Washington, with her husband, Peter.

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.


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