Born in Toronto, Susan Aihoshi is a sansei, or third generation Japanese Canadian, who studied at the University of Toronto and has two degrees in English literature. Susan has worked in publishing for most of her career. Her first book, Torn Apart, is part of Scholastic's Dear Canada series. It explores the experiences of a young girl living in Vancouver in 1941 and what happens to her and her family after Japan bombs Pearl Harbor. A protagonist named Mary is terrified when her family is torn apart and sent to various work camps. Separated from her parents, she and her two sisters are sent to a primitive internment camp in B.C.'s interior.

She writes on her website: "My parents were born and grew up in Vancouver, B.C. They, along with their siblings and parents, were forcibly removed from their homes in 1942. They were Canadian citizens but because of their Japanese ancestry, they were sent to internment camps in the remote B.C. interior as "enemy aliens." When the war ended, they were not allowed to remain in the province and so they moved to Toronto.

"I was born at St. Joseph's Hospital and spent my first twelve years in the downtown area, not far from Trinity Bellwoods Park. For as long I can remember I loved to hear stories and to read books. And when I grew older, I wanted to write!

I studied English literature at Victoria College in Toronto and took creative writing with professor David Knight, who became my dear friend and mentor. After I graduated, I regularly attended David's Thursday Group for writers for many years.

"My love of books was also fostered by seventeen years at Books in Canada magazine, where I had the privilege of working with some of this country's best writers and editors. Since then I have worked at other book publishers as an editor, always glad to be working with authors and books.

"The publication this February 2012 of Torn Apart fulfills my long-time dream to be an author."


Torn Apart (Scholastic 2012)

[BCBW 2012]