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Frank Abe to Discuss John Okada at S.F. Library

Author and journalist Abe will discuss his new book “John Okada: The Life and Rediscovered Work of the Author of ‘No-No Boy.’” Co-edited by Abe, Greg Robinson and Floyd Cheung, the book is the first full-length examination of Okada’s development as an artist, placing a meticulously researched biography alongside his unknown writing and new critical essays.

It is an essential companion to “No-No Boy,” Okada’s only published novel, which centers on a Japanese American who refuses to fight for the country that incarcerated him and his people in World War II.

First published in 1957, “No-No Boy” was virtually ignored by a public eager to put the war and the incarceration behind them. It was not until the mid-1970s that a new generation of Japanese American writers and scholars recognized the novel’s importance and popularized it as one of literature’s most powerful testaments to the Asian American experience.

Abe is producer/director of the PBS documentary “Conscience and the Constitution.” He is currently collaborating on a graphic novel dramatizing the resistance to wartime incarceration. You can read his blog posts at

For more information on the San Francisco Public Library, visit

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