Posts Tagged ‘Hawaiian Literature’

I got ‘This is Paradise‘ by Kristiana Kahakauwila as a present from one of my favourite friends, when she visited Hawaii. I finally got around to reading it.

This is Paradise‘ is a collection of six stories. Three of them are around 40 pages long, two of them are around 20 pages long, and one of them is around 70 pages long. So, they are not really short. Just stories. The stories take the title and turn it on its head, and show us how the real Hawaii looks like beyond the tropical fantasy imagination that tourists have. The title story is about three groups of women who are from different parts of Hawaiian society. It was my favourite story from the book. ‘Wanle’ is about a young woman who follows her father’s footsteps and trains roosters for fights. Another story is about two lovers, there is one story about a father’s love for his daughter, there is one about a man struggling to come out to his family and reveal to them that he is gay. The stories reveal aspects of Hawaiian life, culture and family that we may not be aware of. It was fascinating to read.

Kristiana Kahakauwila came out with this book seven years back. Since then she has maintained a Donna Tartt-ean silence. Readers are looking forward to finding out what she will come up with next.

I’ll leave you with two of my favourite passages from the book.

“She always spoke of history in the present tense, which never failed to unsettle him. To him, history was not available for reintroductions and reliving but accessible only via careful and protracted study. For Becky, however, the past and present existed in the same moment. In her memory the two met, and through their meeting, she layered them, until the past and present were like ocean and sky, without noticeable boundary.”

“As the light bled from the sky, Harrison became a watery outline, a shadow, and if no one put on the porch light, he eventually disappeared from view altogether. This dissipation scared and thrilled Pili, for to lose sight of his father was to be closer to him, to feel rather than see him.”

Have you read ‘This is Paradise‘? What do you think about it?

Read Full Post »