Quiet Defiance: Alaska’s Empty Chair Story


Karleen Grummett, the happy author of “Quiet Defiance: Alaska’s Empty Chair Story.”

Karleen Grummett’s new book, Quiet Defiance: Alaska’s Empty Chair Story, narrates the history of Japanese Americans in Juneau when it was a small, tightly-knit and remote community accessible only by water. It shows how they reacted to their forced removal from Juneau, how their spirit and resolve helped them live during imprisonment and how they renewed their lives following it. The story also describes how the community’s cross-cultural ties and friendships rallied support for their missing friends and led to a quest for justice more than 70 years later.

The publishing of this book was funded, in part, by a Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, together with funds raised by the Empty Chair Project.

Complimentary copies of the book will be given out at two celebratory book signings as gifts to the Juneau community which supported our efforts while supplies last. The initial signing will be during First Friday at the new Valley Branch Library from 5:30-7:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7th. The second will be the next day at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum from 10:30-Noon, Saturday, October 8th. Copies will be mailed to all schools, libraries and historical societies throughout Alaska and to family members affected by the incarceration itself plus other incarceration sites within our country. In Juneau, multiple copies will be given to fifth grade classrooms, as it has become part of their Social Studies curriculum. Additional copies will be placed in the libraries of Juneau’s high schools and added to the existing Empty Chair Collection.

We are so proud of Karleen and this wonderful book she has written that enlightens and adds to Alaskan history. In addition, her book encompasses all the varied achievements of the Empty Chair Project, personal stories, historical photographs and colorful pictures of artifacts and Fumi Matsumoto’s art.


The front and back covers of “Quiet Defiance:    Alaska’s Empty Chair Story.”

Here is a link to the article about Karleen’s book in the Juneau Empire: