THE SHOWGIRL AND THE WRITER by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador)


The Showgirl and the Writer: A Friendship Forged in the Aftermath of the Japanese American Incarceration
by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65)
Peace Corps Writers
488 pages
July 2023
$16.95 (Paperback)

The Showgirl and the Writer, A Friendship Forged in the Aftermath of the Japanese American Incarceration, by Marnie Mueller, is a hybrid memoir/biography. It encompasses Mueller’s own story, beginning at her birth to Caucasian parents in the Tule Lake Japanese American High Security Camp in Northern California, and tells the tale of her long friendship with Mary Mon Toy, a Nisei performer who was incarcerated in the Minidoka Japanese American Camp in Idaho during WWII. The two met by chance in 1994. By then Mueller was a published author and Mary Mon Toy by necessity of old age, had retired from an unusually successful career on stage and television, for an Asian American actor of her time. After Ms. Mon Toy’s death, Mueller penned the previously untold story of Mon Toy’s fierce determination to put the Incarceration behind and her precipitous rise as a working actor.

Marnie Mueller
 (Ecuador 1963-65) was born in the Tule Lake Japanese American Segregation Camp. She is the author of three novels: Green FiresThe Climate of the Country, and My Mother’s IslandShe is a recipient of an American Book Award, the Maria Thomas Award for Outstanding Fiction, Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, New York Public Library Best Books for the TeenageNew York Times Book Review New and Noteworthy in Paperback, and a Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” choice. Her short stories, poetry, and essays have been widely published in magazines and anthologies.


Leave a comment
  • Congratulations on your new book. It sounds like a wonderful read about a fascinating friendship.

  • Congratulations, Marnie. Your new book sounds fascinating. And, quite an undertaking, almost 500 pages.

    • Dear Steve, Thanks for commenting. The book was indeed quite an undertaking…almost 15 years in the making. And thanks to Marian Haley Beil’s edit and design, it’s finally between covers. Though not as long a book as it seems as there is a ton of back-matter, endnotes, bibliography, etc. It took a lot of research on my family’s role in the camps and Mary Mon Toy’s time in the camp and her later theatrical career, as well as our personal story together. Now, I’m back to writing novels where I can make up things!!

      All the best wishes to you,


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