Silver Like Dust

One Family's Story of America's Japanese Internment
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
4.0 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Kimi’s Obaachan, her grandmother, had always been a silent presence throughout her youth. Sipping tea by the fire, preparing sushi for the family, or indulgently listening to Ojichan’s (grandfather’s) stories for the thousandth time, 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 fascinated and haunted Kimi ever since the age of eleven—her gentle yet proud Obaachan was once 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 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 is powerful a testament to the enduring bonds of family and an unusual look at the American dream.

©2011 Kimi Cunningham Grant (P)2011 AudioGO

What listeners say about Silver Like Dust

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Powerful!

My grandparents lived through internment as well, so I have a connection with the story. America is so ashamed of this that we never teach about it or talk about it. However, it is vital that we do! Thank you for writing this story and sharing it!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting plot, nearly unbearable performance

Would you try another book from Kimi Cunningham Grant and/or Emily Woo Zeller?

Cunningham Grant's novel was an interesting account of a topic frequently glossed over by American history classes.

Would you be willing to try another one of Emily Woo Zeller’s performances?

I rarely give any thought to the performer's voice work; however, I nearly stopped listening to this one because of Zeller's obnoxious impersonations of Kimi's grandmother.

1 person found this helpful

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True story of internment camp for Japanese people.

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 her grandmother's life that fascinated and haunted Kimi ever since the age
of eleven - her gentle yet proud Obaachan was once 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 really happened to Obaachan, then
a young woman, and the thousands of other men, women, and children like her? Her grandmother met her husband in the camps and watch her mother die there,
too. A heart-rending story of a shameful period for America.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A New LIfe

Where does Silver Like Dust rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Although it does not rate at the very top of the list (that is reserved for Unbroken). It was very good story on the history of what the internment camp in the US was like for the Japanese.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The grandmother was my favorite character such a woman of steel. I love history and true stories

Which character – as performed by Emily Woo Zeller – was your favorite?

the grandmother--I thought the switching to and from the internment to the present helped the story to bring a more rounded view of the main characters.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes I felt very ashamed of the way this country treated the Japanese during the internment

1 person found this helpful

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Good But Wish For More Grit

Worth a read but almost felt that Obachan made her experience more than palatable. Perhaps too polite anf demure in her telling.

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  • 08-31-17

enlightening indeed...

As caucasian, I enjoyed a perspective my inlaws wouldn't discuss. Learned much. Nice narration too.

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Pronunciation Awful

I don't know how they let this performance be published without looking up the pronunciation of hakujin or Obachan. The story is good but the horrible Japanese (not even an English accent, just completely wrong) is very distracting.