Maui Arts & Entertainment

Nisei Veterans Memorial Center to Host ʻAn Afternoon With The Authorʻ Series

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Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, file photo by Wendy Osher.

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center announced its “An Afternoon with the Author” series.

The series will be conducted monthly via ZOOM conferencing, kicking off on Saturday, July 18 at 1:30 p.m. with award-winning author Julie Checkoway who wrote “The Three Year Swim Club.”

NVMC’s “An Afternoon With The Author” will invite published fiction and non-fiction writers from around Hawaii and the mainland into our homes. By means of ZOOM, the Center will host a different author each month to talk about their work, the story behind the story, and their personal journey on the way to having their work published.


Chosen because of its tie to the Japanese-American and local experience, each author’s work connects individuals with larger truths and ideas about society.  After all, everything that happens in the world can be written and learned from literature which through the centuries has shaped civilizations, changed political systems, exposed injustice and observed the human condition. Literature is the foundation of humanity’s cultures, beliefs, and traditions.

About “The Three Year Swim Club”:

This story revolves around school teacher Soichi Sakamoto, who took a group of Japanese-American children from a Maui sugar plantation and taught them how to be champion swimmers, practicing in one of the plantation’s fetid irrigation ditches. If the basis for the book doesn’t sound amazing enough, how the story unfolds—Japan vying for the Olympic games, Pearl Harbor being bombed, WWII changing the world forever—allows the story and characters to evolve in uplifting and heartbreaking ways. Checkoway is equal to the task of telling this moving narrative. Her top-notch skill as a researcher allows her to bring to life the long-forgotten saga of the swim team, which she fears might otherwise “simply disappear.” Depicting determination, discrimination, hope, anguish, hard work, and hard choices, Checkoway has created a sports history that is singular in its own right, and a fitting testament to the over 200 youths who swam for many reasons toward one goal: “Olympics First! Olympics Always.


To register, call the NVMC at 244-NVMC (6862) or email [email protected].


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