Historical Fiction. THE WAR JOURNAL OF LILA ANN SMITH is based on a true story of the invasion and subsequent occupation of the Island of Attu by the Japanese during World War II. This action was followed by the removal of the occupants of Attu to another island near Japan. Irving Warner, after 25 years of research, after interviewing as many survivors as possible, developed this novel focusing on the single Caucasian woman who lived through this, a woman whose husband was killed during the invasion and who went to Japan with the native people.
From the inside flap: “I open this gate and invite you into the life and times of 44 real people on Attu Island, June 1942, all part of the historical record of World War II. I’ve changed all the names in THE WAR JOURNAL OF LILA ANN SMITH. I’ve altered some of the facts, especially that of the historical school teacher, who was not interred on Hokkaido Island, but on another island near Yokohama. But beyond this gate, the reader is visiting the spirit and times of the real story, and practically speaking, the events themselves. But I cannot own this story, no one can.”
Irving Warner, writer, harmonica artist, retired fish and game biologist, and retired college professor was born in Modesto, California in 1941. He moved to Alaska in 1964 where he stayed until 1996. During that time he worked in fisheries research, with a brief tenure in sea bird studies. Switching careers at the age of 40, he moved into community college teaching, teaching at Kodiak College, University of Alaska, Anchorage system, until 1996 when he took early retirement and took up full time writing. He moved to Washington state in 1996 and then on to Hawaii. He has since moved back to Washington.
Also from Pleasure Boat Studio: In Memory of Hawks, and Other Stories from Alaska (1998); Wagner, Descending: The Wrath of the Salmon Queen (2002); Crossing the Water: The Hawaii-Alaska Trilogies (2009)
David James, Fairbanks News-Miner –
The War Journal of Lila Ann Smith is an unusually well-crafted book. Thoroughly researched, richly detailed, and exceptionally well written, it’s an important addition to the literature of both Alaska and World War II. Most importantly, it pays overdue homage to some of that war a long forgotten victims. It’s an impressive achievement.
Harriett Klausner –
Based on a real event, THE WAR JOURNAL OF LILA ANN SMITH is an exciting historical fiction that shows how far-reaching WWII was. The use of a journal enables the audience to understand how Lila Ann feels about events including the tedium of the voyage, the enthusiasm of her students, the death of her second husband, and the incarceration-exile as civilian POWs with no Habeas Corpus available for her or the Aleuts.