Somes Prisoners NZ

Book: The Swap

In brief: A historical novel based on the experiences of Japanese civilian families living in Tonga when Japan entered the war in 1941. The Authorities brought them to New Zealand for internment, the menfolk being interned on Somes Island. Many were killed several years later when the plane returning them to Japan in a prisoner swop, crashed during take-off at Whenuapai Airbase, near Auckland, NZ.



TITLE:   The Swap
Author:  Wendy Catran
RRP:  $A16.95 - (or NZ about $20.00 when released here)
Category: Young Adult (or any age thereafter - ed.)
ISBN:  0734406541
Publication:  (Aust) 1 May 2004 - (NZ) mid-July 2004
Publishers:   Lothian Books, Melbourne, Australia
About the book:

‘Enemy aliens’ in New Zealand? During World War II Maree glimpsed a little Japanese girl, called Sakura interned with others. She never forgot her. But now, in the cosy fifties, Maree dreams of stardom and the emerging American rock culture, and worries about her brother Alan, on R&R in Japan after fighting in Korea. Then Alan returns-and another Japanese woman enters Maree’s life.

Juxtaposed against Maree’s story is Sakura’s tale set in the forties.  After Pearl Harbour, she and other Japanese are sent from Tonga to New Zealand for internment. How will they be treated? Will they even survive?

Sukara’s story is told to Maree by Alan’s Japanese wife.

Wendy Catran uses little know historical facts, such as the Liberator plane crash, and the difficult conditions the Japanese faced when interned in New Zealand to create a captivating and beautiful story.

The Swap is of human beings, culture, war and peace, ideas and attitudes.  

About the Author:   Wendy Catran has written scripts for popular television series that include: The Sullivans, Prisoner, Cop Shop and Neighbours. Wendy lives in New Zealand and has written episodes for many television programs there including several children’s series. She is the author of Not Raining Today and Katie Raven’s Fire.
More Information:

Georgina Way, Tel: 03 9694 4931


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