University of Alaska Press, Nonfiction.
The volcanic island of Kiska in the Aleutian chain was occupied by Japanese forces from June 1942 until August 1943. More than 7,500 Japanese personnel lived on the island until they heard Allied troops were moving in and fled by night with little more than the clothes on their backs. To this day, the island remains littered with all manner of abandoned weapons, equipment and personal items. In “Kiska: The Japanese Occupation of an Alaska Island,” maritime historian Brendan Coyle recounts his 51-day stay on the island in which he documented the remaining ghosts of this far-flung battlefield — from pairs of shoes strewn among wildflowers to rusting submarines. The only thing the book is really missing is any trace of a living human being.