“My first take on Hawai`i was, Here I am arrived at the Land of the Lotus Eaters, and I’m not going to leave.”

This is what Maxing Hong Kingston writes in the fascinating preface to the paperback edition of “Hawai’i One Summer” published by UH Press (thank you Carol for cluing me in to this section!). The book was originally published in a limited hand-printed run.

Kingston goes on to talk about how she felt Hawai`i a good place to write about China or California, but thought she was silenced by Hawai`i and unable, not allowed more like it, to write stories about it–that they did not belong to her. Yet later she sees that Hawai`i did creep into her writing after all, into the essays in this book. And though she says she’s not a kama`aina (though she is a Living Treasure of Hawai`i, awarded by the monks and priests of Honpa Hongwanji Missing on the Pali), it seems to be in her and she in it. (I wonder if she will again be at the Book and Music Festival (May 17-18)).

This quote obviously was of interest to me given the title of this blog, but now I am hooked, and will read “Hawai’i One Summer” next–after I’ve finished the next eight books up for review.

Perhaps you will get to it first.