Thursday, March 17, 2011

Devastation in Japan

With all of you, I share a horror at the tragedy unfolding in Japan. My husband is a geophysicist, and I’ve completed a masters’ degree in geology; nevertheless, the power of nature to inflict havoc and human misery is shocking.

Kula, in my second novel FORGIVEN, experiences the terrible devastation of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. While I was researching the novel I came across many, many first-hand accounts, photographs, and videos, and I felt the same kind of shock at what I observed to be the terrible devastation there.

A friend of mine alerted me to a Huffington Post article that described a recently discovered collection of photographs by the photographer Frederick Eugene Ives. Here are a couple of the photographs taken in San Francisco shortly after the earthquake, and a quote from the article:
The six never-published images were snapped by photography innovator Frederick Eugene Ives several months after the April 1906 "Great Quake," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Most were taken from the roof of the hotel where Ives stayed during an October 1906 visit.
They were stowed amid other items donated by Ives' son, Herbert, and discovered in 2009 by National Museum of American History volunteer Anthony Brooks while he was cataloguing the collection.

All photos courtesy of the Photographic History Collection at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

If you want to help Japan, Greg Fishbone has organized an online auction featuring the kidlit community at , the auction to begin Monday, March 21 at this address. You can donate items to the auction, or you can bid on items there. The proceeds will benefit UNICEF in the hopes of reaching children in Japan in particular.

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