> Skip to content
  • Published: 12 July 2022
  • ISBN: 9781641293693
  • Imprint: Soho Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $29.99

Clark and Division




A New York Times Best Mystery Novel of 2021

Set in 1944 Chicago, Edgar Award-winner Naomi Hirahara’s eye-opening and poignant new mystery, the story of a young woman searching for the truth about her revered older sister's death, brings to focus the struggles of one Japanese American family released from mass incarceration at Manzanar during World War II.

Chicago, 1944: Twenty-year-old Aki Ito and her parents have just been released from Manzanar, where they have been detained by the US government since the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, together with thousands of other Japanese Americans. The life in California the Itos were forced to leave behind is gone; instead, they are being resettled two thousand miles away in Chicago, where Aki’s older sister, Rose, was sent months earlier and moved to the new Japanese American neighborhood near Clark and Division streets. But on the eve of the Ito family’s reunion, Rose is killed by a subway train.

Aki, who worshipped her sister, is stunned. Officials are ruling Rose’s death a suicide. Aki cannot believe her perfect, polished, and optimistic sister would end her life. Her instinct tells her there is much more to the story, and she knows she is the only person who could ever learn the truth.

Inspired by historical events, Clark and Division infuses an atmospheric and heartbreakingly real crime with rich period details and delicately wrought personal stories Naomi Hirahara has gleaned from thirty years of research and archival work in Japanese American history.

  • Published: 12 July 2022
  • ISBN: 9781641293693
  • Imprint: Soho Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $29.99

About the author

Naomi Hirahara

NAOMI HIRAHARA is a freelance writer and journalist who served for several years as an editor of The Rafu Shimpo, the largest Japanese American daily newspaper. She is the author of two previous Mas Arai mysteries, Gasa-Gasa Girl and Summer of the Big Bachi, named one of "The Ten Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2004" by the Chicago Tribune and a Publishers Weekly "Best Books of 2004" pick.

Also by Naomi Hirahara

See all

Praise for Clark and Division

Praise for Clark and Division A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice An ABA IndieNext Pick for August 2021 Barnes & Noble's Best Mysteries & Thrillers of 2021 2021 ABA Indie Next List Genre Gift Guide Bustle's Most Anticipated Books of August An Apple Best Books of August An Amazon Best of the Month for Mystery/Thriller “Searing . . . This is as much a crime novel as it is a family and societal tragedy, filtering one of the cruelest examples of American prejudice through the prism of one young woman determined to assert her independence, whatever the cost.” —Sarah Weinman, The New York Times Book Review “Just as only James Ellroy could have written the Los Angeles Quartet and only Walter Mosley could have crafted Black Angelenos’ experiences into the Easy Rawlins mysteries, crime novelist and research maven Naomi Hirahara was destined to write Clark and Division . . . The vibrant characters, the history and the aura of determined optimism that permeate the novel make it feel like the beginning of a saga not unlike Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs mysteries.” —Paula Woods, Los Angeles Times “Hirahara has drawn a devastating picture of a family in crisis and a nation’s monumental blunder.” The Washington Post “Engrossing . . . The best historical fiction shows how events affected the people who lived that era. Hirahara’s Clark and Division ranks high.” —Oline Cogdil, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel “A novel Naomi Hirahara was destined to write . . . Hirahara gives us a rich and vibrant portrayal of Nisei life in multicultural Chicago: the nightclubs, the hoodlums, the young people looking for connection, looking for their place in a world that up until previously had not merely excluded them but incarcerated them.” —Désirée Zamorano, Los Angeles Review of Books “Aki is an engaging and complex character . . . An impressive historical novel, but it’s also sadly timely, as we see the old baseless bigotry awakened again among the fearful and the violent.” Tampa Bay Times “This absorbing historical fiction, by the Edgar-winning author of the excellent Mas Arai series, vividly brings to life the experience of being Japanese American during World War II — a shameful chapter of casual racism, fear and distrust that continues to echo today.” The Seattle Times “The crime-solving is absorbing, but the novel works more compellingly as an informed portrayal of life in crisis among a group of American citizens who learned the hard way that, in certain circumstances, democracy doesn’t apply to them.” The Toronto Star “Absorbing . . . The sisters’ dramatic and gripping story enriches the reader’s understanding of a problematic time, and highlights the vulnerabilities of socially marginalized young women, yet the novel is never didactic or preachy. In seeking justice for Rose, undaunted by unexpected obstacles, and learning from her own missteps along the way, Aki blossoms into a beautiful, resourceful, and brave young woman.” Mystery Scene Magazine “Aki’s grit, determination, and optimism recall Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs or Charles Todd’s Bess Crawford and make Clark and Division one of the more enlightening World War II–era mysteries in recent memory.” Alta Journal “In a complex, layered text, Hirahara incorporates historical details behind internment with a

Related titles