WWII

Category: WWII

Part of my novel, After the Bloom, is set in a decrepit boarding house in the Bloor/Lansdowne neighbourhood of Toronto. This house is inspired by an actual house I visited with my father a number of years ago – the house where he grew up. He lived there during the postwar era, after his family had been released from Japanese internment camps on the west coast (my grandmother was interned in Minidoka, Idaho, and my grandfather in Kaslo, B.C.).

When people ask me how I came to write a novel — And Then the Sky Exploded — about the bomb that was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945, and the devastation that followed,  I have to be honest and admit I’m not really sure.

When Canada declared war on Germany in September, 1939, women from across the nation went to war on the home front. They stepped up, doffing their aprons and donning factory uniforms to bridge the gap with a sombre commitment to do whatever was required to bring their men home. Battles on the frontlines raged while women in Canada braved hardship, managed food rations, raised their families, and often worked in highly dangerous conditions.

Bird’s Eye View is the unforgettable story of an idealistic young farm girl from Saskatchewan who is working as a newspaper reporter at the outbreak of World War Two. When her town becomes a British Commonwealth Air Training Base, Rose Jolliffe is fired with patriotism and wangles her way overseas, where she joins the air force and becomes an aerial photographic interpreter.

Alan Bowker worked for thirty-five years in Canada's foreign service, including serving as high commissioner to Guyana. He has a Ph.D. in Canadian history and has taught at Canada's Royal Military College. He is the editor of two collections of Leacock essays, On the Front Line of Life and Social Criticism. Today Alan answers some questions for us about his new book A Time Such as There Never Was Before.

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