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Mark Sakamoto in Conversation with Jeanne Beker

Woven together through interviews with his maternal grandmother, Mitsue Sakamoto, and paternal grandfather, Ralph MacLean, Mark Sakamoto’s Forgiveness: A Gift from My Grandparents shares wartime recollections from contrasting sides of a human tragedy to offer a unique perspective on the idea of a Canadian family. Released in 2014 to sweepingly glowing reviews, Forgiveness also won 2018 Canada Reads, as defended by Canadian fashion journalist, icon and entrepreneur Jeanne Beker.

In 2017, Jeanne Beker donated a special trunk to the Museum. This simple wooden crate had accompanied her parents, Holocaust survivors, and sister to Canada in 1948 to begin a new life. Along with the trunk, Jeanne also shared her parent’s story of survival and rebuilding. The symmetries between Mark and Jeanne’s family histories, as descendants of survivors and bearers of a family trauma passed down, are part of what will make this next edition of Pier 21 Reads so powerful.

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