The University of Wisconsin Press

Memoir / World War II / Women's Studies


Forbidden Family
A Wartime Memoir of the Philippines, 1941–1945
Margaret Sams
Edited by Lynn Z. Bloom

Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography

"A war story, a love story, and a feminist affirmation."
Library Journal

Written just five years after the end of World War II, this is Margaret Sams's moving testimony of life in a Japanese internment camp—the can of Spam hoarded for Christmas dinner, the clandestine radio hidden in her sewing kit, the beheading of other prisoners for transgressions. With her husband held elsewhere as a prisoner of war and with a small son to protect, Margaret broke the rules both of society and of her captors to fall in love and bear a child with a kind and daring fellow internee, Jerry Sams.

"Her picture of prison life, with all its hardships, heartaches, and surprising humor, is unforgettably real."—Ralph Graves, author of Share of Honor

Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography
William L. Andrews, Series Editor

Margaret Sams and Jerry Sams were married in January 1946. Five decades later, the Sams live in rural Grass Valley, California, northeast of Sacramento. Lynn Z. Bloom is professor of English and holds the Aetna Chair in Writing at the University of Connecticut.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

cover of Forbidden Family is green and sepia brown. A seemingly convention photo of a family is revealed to be a part of a jungle photo or a war time photo

October 1997
336 pp.    6 x 9
20 b/w photos, 1 map

Book icon
Paper $14.95
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
  Review cart contents
Secure checkout


Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.

Updated June 17, 2011

© 2011, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System