Club News

Fredonia Shakespeare Club

The Fredonia Shakespeare Club held its 17th, and final regular meeting of the 2012-2013 year at the home of Dr. Virginia Horvath, SUNY Fredonia president. The topic for the year is “Authors as Social Commentators.” Dr. Horvath also presented the paper on the book “The Girl With the White Flag” by Tomiko Higa which is summarized as follows:

“The Girl With the White Flag” is a true, personal account of the author as a young 7-year-old girl, separated from her family in the confusion and horrors of World War II in Okinawa, Japan. She was photographed by a military photographer as she carried a home made white flag walking towards the U.S. Troops at the end of the war. The author did not reveal to anyone that she indeed was the young girl in this picture until years later when it was misrepresented in the media. Only then did the author feel compelled to tell the real story of the young girl holding the white flag, how she was able to survive in the midst of fierce battles, and how she was able to search years later to find the man who had taken the picture.

The book recounts her struggles to survive as a young child, alone, on the battlefield of Okinawa. There, as some of the fiercest fighting of the war rages around her, she must live alone, with nothing to fall back on but her own wits and daring courage. Fleeing from encroaching enemy forces, searching desperately for her lost sisters, taking scraps of food from the knapsacks of dead soldiers, risking death at every turn, Tomiko somehow finds the strength and courage to survive. Her story becomes not only a personal account of a child survival in the midst of war, but also presents a vivid portrait of the unintended civilian casualties of any war. Although originally written for the young adult reader, this is a story that will move adults as well, with its compelling, very vivid account of war as seen through the eyes of a child.

Dr. Horvath was assisted at the tea table by Mrs. Martin Sanden. Although this was the last regular meeting this year, the club will gather on April 25 to celebrate the birthday of William Shakespeare.