Sideways chronicles the childhood of a Nikkei born a prisoner in one of the many concentration camps created around the Pacific Rim during WWII to incarcerate citizens and legal immigrants based solely on their ancestry.
Sideways shatters any myth that newborn babies and children were unscathed by their unlawful imprisonment inside these detention centres.
Cole’s story begins inside her mother’s womb, where she overhears the internment camp doctor speculate that her 44-year-old mother may not survive childbirth. Cole writes, “Luckily I, a mere fetus at the time, had big ears, so I turned a somersault in utero—one of my rare moments of grace—and my forty-four year old mother survived.”
Critics say Cole’s story offers amusing and piercing insights into the exile and resettlement of her family and provides the reader with a surprising new awareness of the Nikkei experience throughout North America and Latin America.
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