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Two young men struggle to come to terms with their love for one another during one of the most controversial eras of United States history, the forced internment of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans.

In his latest novel, Gardens of Hope, award-winning author Michael Holloway Perronne considered it timely to not just explore a World War II era forbidden gay, interracial love story, but also a controversial, and often overlooked period of US history, the forced internment of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans at sites such as Manzanar in California.

“After personally visiting the historic Manzanar site, I felt profoundly moved and, frankly, horrified when I learned more about the struggles and indignities of Japanese-Americans, who had committed no crimes, being forced to leave their homes for years and live in what many would call a concentration camp,” Perronne said.

In addition, Perronne doesn’t recall being taught in school about President Roosevelt’s Order 9066. The order essentially jailed Japanese-Americans after the panic that ensued following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. “I definitely believe it’s a part of US history we’ve tried to erase because it doesn’t fit our narrative of being a society based on democratic principles. Much of the same type of misplaced fears we see today towards minority populations were used against Japanese-Americans. In my opinion, much of the recent upswing of hate speech has been fueled by the Trump administration. The story of Manzanar is a chilling reminder of what happens when we let our fears override our sense of justice and decency.”

Perronne continued, “Visiting Manzanar inspired me to craft a story about two young men struggling with their unexpected love for each other during a time when you could also simply be arrested for your ancestry. My wish is that readers of ‘Gardens of Hope’ are reminded that eventually love does trump hate and fear, but it also requires each and every one of us to stand up against individual injustices not just against ourselves but all Americans.”

Michael Holloway Perronne is a writer living in Los Angeles. His debut novel, A Time Before Me, won Foreward Magazine’s Bronze Award in Gay & Lesbian Literature.

WW11 Japanese-American internment camps
           Michael Holloway Perronne

Gardens of Hope
ISBN: 9781370433742
Publisher: Chances Press, LLC
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