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:






5 thoughts on “Quiet Defiance: Alaska’s Empty Chair Story

  1. Hi Karleen, I am in Sitka this weekend. Would you please save a copy for me? I am glad to pay for it. I could either pick it up from you or from Fumi next week. Live about 5 houses away from Fumi. Thank you much, Brita rice >

  2. Hi Karleen, I am very interested in purchasing several copies of your book. I am showing the video The Empty Chair in May for Asian American Pacific Islander month and would love to have some copies on hand for employees to read.

    • Hi Elise….Karleen’s book is available at:

      The Juneau-Douglas City Museum.

      Alaska State Museum gift shop in Juneau.

      On-line at the Japanese American National Museum gift shop in Los Angeles.

      These are all nonprofits to which we have donated our books as, per our grant, we have chosen not to profit from the sale of the book.
      Where are you located? I’m answering for Karleen (my sister) as I manage our blog. Thanks for your interest!!

      Margie Shackelford

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