by TANIAH TUDOR
Press Argus-Courier Staff
An author native to southeast Arkansas whose book was chosen as the selection for the 2013 statewide reading program If All Arkansas Read the Same Book will be at the Van Buren Public Library Oct. 9 at 10 a.m.
Vivienne Schiffer will be on hand Wednesday, Oct. 9, to discuss her book “Camp Nine,” chosen for the statewide reading program, which is a project of Arkansas Center for the Book.
“Camp Nine” is a fictionalized account of an Arkansas Delta girl and her experiences with two internees and an American soldier from the nearby relocation center built to house Japanese living in the western United States following the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the outbreak of war with Japan.
Arkansans are encouraged to read the book and participate in author events and book discussions at public and academic libraries throughout October. “Camp Nine” is published by the University of Arkansas Press.
Schiffer will make appearances in libraries across Arkansas from Oct. 8 to Oct. 29. She will be at the Fort Smith Public Library Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Springdale Public Library Oct. 9 at 2 p.m.
Schiffer is a native of Rohwer, which from 1942 until 1945 was the site of an imprisonment camp that held Japanese American citizens and resident aliens from the Pacific coast after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the outbreak of war with Japan.
Schiffer has said that she wrote “Camp Nine” after being inspired by the loyalty and grace of the imprisoned Japanese Americans. Her book explores the clash of cultures that resulted from the arrival of nearly ten thousand outsiders into the isolated Arkansas Delta.
Schiffer graduated from the University of Central Arkansas and Tulane Law School, and she achieved her professional certification in screenwriting from the University of California - Los Angeles Professional Program.
She is currently at work on her second novel about the fictional DeSoto County, in the Arkansas Delta.
Schiffer also is working on two films. The first, “Relocation, Arkansas,” is a documentary about the Rohwer Camp and its survivors, and the efforts of her mother, Rosalie Santine Gould, to preserve the memory of the Japanese American experience in Arkansas.
The second, “America Abroad,” is an unscripted television series about American students participating in study abroad programs.
Schiffer is active in the Texas literary scene, and served for three years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Writers’ League of Texas, the second largest regional writing group in the nation, and the statewide service organization partner in the literary arts to the Texas Commission on the Arts. She is also a member of Women in Television and Film - Houston.
Schiffer lives in Houston where she has practiced law for more than 30 years. She is married to Paul Schiffer, a criminal defense attorney, and they have four children.
For more information, please visit www.library.arkansas.gov or call (501) 682-2874.