Feb. 19, 1998

Aunt Jennifer's Tigers

by Adrienne Rich


Today's Reading: "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers" by Adrienne Rich from THE FACT OF A DOORFRAME: POEMS SELECTED AND NEW, published by W.W. Norton & Company.

It's the birthday of AMY TAN, who wrote The Joy Luck Club in 1989, and The Kitchen God's Wife in 1991 - born in Oakland, California on this date in 1952, and raised in San Francisco.

Today marks the anniversary of the beginning of the BATTLE OF IWO JIMA in 1945. The island lies 700 miles south of Tokyo and its airfield was deemed the best spot for U.S. bombers to re-fuel so they could hit Japan. The Japanese had constructed an elaborate network of caves and tunnels on Iwo Jima, and it took a month of some of the worst fighting in the war for the Marines to secure the island.

Three years earlier on this day, President Roosevelt signed EXECUTIVE ORDER 9066, calling for the eviction and internment of all Japanese Americans. More than a dozen camps were set up in Western states, and beginning in April, 1942, 112,000 people were forced from their homes into the camps. The internment lasted until December, 1944 when Roosevelt revoked the order.

It's the birthday in Columbus, Georgia, 1917, of the short-story writer and novelist CARSON MCCULLERS. She left Georgia when she was 17 to become a pianist, headed for New York and the Juilliard school, but within days of arriving in the city she lost her wallet and tuition. So she got a job and took writing classes at Columbia University instead, and when she was 23 published her best known work, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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