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  • Date: November 11
  • Time: 6:00pm - 6:00pm PT

Novel Nights: Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown

Join us for Novel Nights! At this event, award-winning author Daniel James Brown will speak about his latest book, Facing the Mountain, with book critic Mary Ann Gwinn. This event will be held virtually.


This event takes place in Pacific Time. Tickets can be purchased at the bottom of the page.

This event is sponsored by Dick and Mary Beth Gemperle, and DeNoma Literary Services.

About Facing the Mountain

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat, a gripping World War II saga of patriotism and resistance, focusing on four Japanese American men and their families, and the contributions and sacrifices that they made for the sake of the nation.

In the days and months after Pearl Harbor, the lives of Japanese Americans across the continent and Hawaii were changed forever. In this unforgettable chronicle of war-time America and the battlefields of Europe, Daniel James Brown portrays the journey of Rudy Tokiwa, Fred Shiosaki, and Kats Miho, who volunteered for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and were deployed to France, Germany, and Italy, where they were asked to do the near impossible. Brown also tells the story of these soldiers’ parents, immigrants who were forced to submit to life in concentration camps on U.S. soil. Woven throughout is the chronicle of Gordon Hirabayashi, one of a cadre of patriotic resisters who stood up against their government in defense of their own rights. Whether fighting on battlefields or in courtrooms, these were Americans under unprecedented strain, doing what Americans do best—striving, resisting, pushing back, rising up, standing on principle, laying down their lives, and enduring.

About the author

Daniel James Brown grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended Diablo Valley College, the University of California at Berkeley, and UCLA. He taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford before becoming a technical writer and editor. He now writes narrative nonfiction books full time, and he is the author of four books: Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894 (2006), The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride (2009), The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics (2013), and Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II (2021).

About the moderator

Mary Ann Gwinn spent 34 years at The Seattle Times. Along the way she won a Pulitzer Prize (along with others) for her cover of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. For the last 18 years of her career, she was the Books Editor and her Lit Life column was a beloved institution for folks who liked to have their nose in a book. Mary Ann was one of three jurors for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. She is a vice president of the board of the National Book Critics Circle, and the 2018 chair for the NBCC prize in general nonfiction. Whether her subject is a local or national author, Gwinn uses her linguistic gifts to shine a spotlight on those doing the good word work.

About Novel Nights

Part book club, part celebration: a novel approach to the literary salon.

We write because we were readers first—and our love of reading great literature is what sustains us through long, lonely hours at the writing desk.

But books don’t exist only in the solitude of our minds; they come alive in the conversations we have about them.

At Novel Nights, you’ll delve into the depths of books in the company of fellow book-lovers and friends—all while supporting Hugo House. To see a full list of all the Novel Nights events or buy a series pass, click here.