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In 1954 a fisherman is found dead in the nets of his boat, and a local Japanese-American man is charged with his murder. In the course of his trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than one man's guilt. For on San Piedro, memories grow as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries - memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and a Japanese girl; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbours watched.
David Guterson is the author of the novels Snow Falling on Cedars, East of the Mountains and Our Lady of the Forest; a collection of short stories, The Country Ahead Of Us, The Country Behind, and of the non-fiction book Family Matters: Why Home Schooling Makes Sense. Snow Falling on Cedars won the PEN/ Faulkner Award. David Guterson lives in Washington State.