Camp Nine: A Novel

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University of Arkansas Press, Jan 1, 2012 - Fiction - 205 pages
6 Reviews
On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the U.S. military to ban anyone from certain areas of the country, with primary focus on the West Coast. Eventually the order was used to imprison 120,000 people of Japanese descent in incarceration camps such as the Rohwer Relocation Center in remote Desha County, Arkansas. This time of fear and prejudice (the U.S. government formally apologized for the relocations in 1982) and the Arkansas Delta are the setting for Camp Nine. The novel's narrator, Chess Morton, lives in tiny Rook Arkansas. Her days are quiet and secluded until the appearance of a "relocation" center built for what was, in effect, the imprisonment of thousands of Japanese Americans. Chess's life becomes intertwined with those of two young internees and an American soldier mysteriously connected to her mother's past. As Chess watches the struggles and triumphs of these strangers and sees her mother seek justice for the people who briefly and involuntarily came to call the Arkansas Delta their home, she discovers surprising and disturbing truths about her family's painful past.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dulcibelle - LibraryThing

A coming of age story of a young girl growing up on the Arkansas delta during WW2. Her small town of just over 800 people was chosen as one of the locations for a Japanese-American Relocation Camp ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - julie10reads - LibraryThing

In Schiffer’s finely wrought debut novel-set in Rook, Ark. in 1942-12-year old Chess Morton’s quiet life of plantations and bayous changes abruptly after her wealthy landowning grandfather sells some ... Read full review

Selected pages


Application for Leave Clearance
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16

Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 17

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About the author (2012)

Vivienne Schiffer is a novelist and filmmaker who grew up in Desha County, Arkansas, and lives in Houston, Texas. She is currently at work on various film projects, including Relocation, Arkansas, a documentary about the Arkansas camps, as well as a second novel.