A JA History Book Talk with Alden Hayashi, author of “Two Nails, One Love,” in conversation with Brian Niiya, will be presented on Sunday, Oct. 17, at 4 p.m. Pacific.
“Two Nails, One Love” is a semi-autobiographical novel about an estranged mother-son relationship that evolves and eventually heals as the son realizes just how much his life has been affected by his mother’s traumatic past.
“A couple years ago, I went on a pilgrimage to the Arkansas site where my mother had been incarcerated during World War II,” said Hayashi. “At the time I was so fortunate to meet Brian Niiya, the content director of Densho, an excellent online encyclopedia that covers the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.
“As it turned out, Brian and I shared a common history: Both of our mothers were on the same ship (the MS Gripsholm) that sent more than a thousand civilians from the U.S. to an enemy country — Japan — in the autumn of 1943, that is, during the height of World War II. Both Brian’s mother and my mother were U.S. citizens.
“And that’s why I’m especially thrilled to be discussing my book ‘Two Nails, One Love’ with Brian this Sunday. A part of my novel describes that voyage aboard the Gripsholm, a trip that may have occurred almost 80 years ago but that nonetheless had profound consequences for both Brian’s and my families.”
For those in the Bay Area, Hayashi recommends purchasing the book from Eastwind Books of Berkeley, an independent bookstore that is supportive of Asian American authors and the community. Also available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The event is free but registration is required. RSVP: https://tinyurl.com/TwoNailsJAHistory