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.
As the author writes in his foreword to this book: “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.
Published by Pleasure Boat Studio: In Memory of Hawks, and Other Stories from Alaska (1998); His first novel Wagner, Descending: The Wrath of the Salmon Queen (2002); The historical novel The War Journal of Lila Ann Smith (2007)