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Download Silver Like Dust: One Family’s Story of Japanese Internment Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Silver Like Dust: One Family’s Story of Japanese Internment, by Kimi Cunningham Grant Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (246 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kimi Cunningham Grant Narrator: Emily Woo Zelle Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The poignant story of a Japanese American woman’s journey through one of the most shameful chapters in American history.

Sipping tea by the fire, preparing sushi for the family, or indulgently listening to her husband tell the same story for the hundredth time, Kimi Grant’s grandmother, Obaachan, was a missing link to Kimi’s Japanese heritage, something she had had a mixed relationship with all her life. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, all Kimi ever wanted to do was fit in, spurning traditional Japanese cuisine and her grandfather’s attempts to teach her the language.

But there was one part of Obaachan’s life that had fascinated and haunted Kimi ever since the age of eleven—her gentle yet proud Obaachan had once been a prisoner, along with 112,000 Japanese Americans, for more than five years of her life. Obaachan never spoke of those years, and Kimi’s own mother only spoke of it in whispers. It was a source of haji, or shame. But what had really happened to Obaachan, then a young woman, and the thousands of other men, women, and children like her?

Obaachan would meet her husband in the camps and watch her mother die there, too. From the turmoil, racism, and paranoia that sprang up after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the terrifying train ride to Heart Mountain, to the false promise of V-J Day, Silver Like Dust captures a vital chapter of the Japanese American experience through the journey of one remarkable woman.

Her story is one of thousands, yet it is a powerful testament to the enduring bonds of family and an unusual look at the American dream.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This vivid account of a Japanese American woman’s imprisonment at the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp during WWII takes the form of a dialogue between the once-imprisoned grandmother and the author, who is her granddaughter. Narrator Emily Woo Zeller does an extraordinary job of varying the voices in the dialogue without losing the intimacy of the story. Her delivery is well paced and easy to understand. The author’s grandmother was not only a prisoner but also a Japanese American, a woman, a new bride, and a mother. All of these facets of her identity, together, shaped her experience and come through in her memories.”


  • “Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, wanting to fit in, Grant felt far removed from her Japanese heritage, including the internment of her grandparents during WWII…Grant offers a portrait of the stoicism and patriotism of her family as well as differences in generations, as the stories evoke her own feelings of rage. But throughout is a portrait of a courageous woman who endured hardship and later established a delicate balance of trust with her granddaughter that allowed her to finally tell the family’s story.”


  • “As the author learns about her grandmother’s young adulthood, marriage, and first child, she forms a relationship with the older woman that hadn’t existed before. Verdict: This is a heartwarming, informative, and accessible tale of personal family history. Grant seamlessly intersperses the narrative with facts about World War II, Japan, and the period. Grant’s narrative is not just a story of the Japanese internment; it is a loving tribute to her grandmother. Narrator Emily Woo Zeller allows the story to flow beautifully. Recommended to fans of Theresa Weir and Amy Tan.”

    Library Journal (audio review)

  • “The author weaves rich supporting material throughout the narrative, providing a solid context for the relocation and internment of 112,000 Japanese throughout the West…This is also the story of a young woman navigating her marriage to a strong but exacting personality and family ties weakened by the stress and separation of internment…[A] well-written book about life in a Japanese internment camp and the social and political forces that allowed their existence.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Allison | 2/12/2014

    " I thought this was interesting, I learned new things and gained a new perspective, but it wasn't very engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Susan Patterson | 2/9/2014

    " Loved this book! Written by the grand daughter of a second generation Japanese woman about her family's experience during WWII. She brings out her grandmother's personality so well you will think you know her. A little known part of US history that will appall you! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Karen | 2/5/2014

    " This book was an easy read. It gives the reader a good picture of what life was like for those sent to the Japanese internment camps during WWII--a group that you rarely hear about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sandy Nork | 2/5/2014

    " Read this book as part of research for a novel I'm working on. Initially, I was put off by the structure of the book, the back and forth of personal against historical, combined with what I perceived as Grant's distance from her subject. By the end of the book, I changed my mind. Grant frames the personal with the historical, making both more informative. Her distance becomes affection mixed with greater understanding. An affecting book that explained some details of internment that I hadn't seen before. "

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