If you’re a writer and reader on the Big Island, or need a good excuse to fly over for a getaway, I’ll be giving a series of readings and talks for DON’T LOOK BACK: Hawaiian Myths Made New from Saturday 2/25 – Tuesday 2/28 in Hilo, Kona & Volcano.
Joining me will be DON’T LOOK BACK contributor and nationally bestselling author and Waimea resident Darien Gee (Friendship Bread: A Novel) who also writes under the name Mia King (Sweet Life).
We’d love to see you there! Tell your friends, bring your friends, and anyone who loves stories, Hawaiian culture, myths and more.
Tuesday 2/28 at 7pm we will be the featured presenters at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park “After Dark in the Park” event in the visitors’ center. We’re hoping for a spirited evening as we honor Pele with Darien Gee’s story Pele in Therapy (think about those times when one has the need to “vent”), and my riff on The Legend of Halemano. There are actually five stories in the collection where Pele’s influence reverberates and her powerful presence in our modern lives is honored.
I hope to see you there. And O‘ahu people–we’re planning a talk story event soon in Honolulu for those that want to discuss myth and retelling in more detail.
FED UP WITH LUNCH. Sarah Wu (aka Mrs. Q). Chronicle Books. 191 pages. $22.95
What: The authors will appear at a book signing for the new anthology Don’t Look Back: Hawaiian Myths Made New, edited by Christine Thomas, featuring their work and that of 12 other Hawai‘i writers.
Where: Barnes & Noble Kahala Mall
Of course, the book’s most seductive aspects are high-quality reproductions of O’Keeffe’s rarely seen Hawai‘i paintings, tenderly and stunningly evoking fishhooks, Iao Valley, flowers and more—the only thing better would be seeing the paintings in person. But period photos, O’Keeffe’s letters from Maui, and perspectives on her visit run a close second, resurrecting a hidden but meaningful period in the artist’s career.
–Christine Thomas for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, On My Shelf
This comprehensive ode to Hawaiian surfing is an impressive reference covering everything from board to river surfing, and detailing traditional surf sites across the islands, including Kaho‘olawe and Ni‘ihau. Clark weaves in excerpts of Hawaiian-language newspapers, myth—especially of surfing goddess Hi‘iakaikapoliopele—early texts by the likes of Malo and Beckwith, and even an account of surfing-related Hawaiian place names in Waikiki.
Perhaps most remarkable is the 250-plus page Hawaiian-English dictionary of surfing terms, with nearly all entries followed by passages illustrating how terms were used in context. Clark works closely with Awaiaulu, dedicated to fostering Hawaiian knowledge today.
Thank you to everyone who came out to the Mission Houses Museum last week to support the launch of Don’t Look Back: Hawaiian Myths Made New.
We had a great turnout in the courtyard just off the bookstore, with about 60 people enjoying short excerpts of myths with a modern twist, even with heavy competition across the street in the form of the luminous Santa and Mrs. Claus and snowmen.
|Photos by the lovely Dawn Sakamoto|
Christopher Kelsey read from his story, Rock of Ages, stemming from the myth of removing lava rocks from the volcano.
Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl read from Ao ‘Aumākua, the myth of Hiku and Kawelu spun from a new perspective.
And J. Freen’s reading from If You GoogleEarth 1118 Bishop Street, a modern rendering of the myth of O‘ahu Nui the Cannibal King, elicited many hearty laughs.
|Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl|
I was very happy to have so many contributors in the same place: Gary Pak, Robert Barclay, J. Arthur Rath III, Marion Lyman-Mersereau, Puakea Nogelmeier, and Andy Catanzariti who designed the amazing book cover. I’m looking forward to future events where more contributors will gather and read.
In the works: a talk-story at Na Mea Hawai‘i Native Books, signings on Hawai‘i Island and Maui. If you’d like a copy of the book head to the Watermark website. A portion of sales will be donated to support Awaiaulu.
|L to R: Gary Pak, Puakea Nogelmeier, Andy Catanzariti, Christopher Kelsey, Robert Barclay, J. Freen, Christine Thomas, J. Arthur Rath III, Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl, Marion Lyman-Mersereau|
CORAL ROAD POEMS. Garrett Hongo. Knopf. 102 pages. $26
Murder Leaves Its Mark. Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl. University of Hawai‘i Press. 301 pages. $16.99
Pele in therapy. Maui as superhero. The cannibal king O‘ahu Nui in a world of shady deals and political corruption. The star-crossed naupaka lovers as Honolulu high-school sweethearts. In this one-of-a-kind anthology, old meets new as Hawai‘i’s best writers, including Ian MacMillan, Maxine Hong Kingston, W.S. Merwin, Victoria Kneubuhl, Alan Brennert and more, present favorite myths and legends in surprising contemporary settings. Here are 17 tales of old Hawai‘i—lovingly reimagined and retold for the 21st century.
Editor Christine Thomas is a freelance features and travel writer and book critic.
Full list of contributing writers:
Maxine Hong Kingston
Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl
J. Arthur Rath III
Softcover; 176 pp
Editor: Christine Thomas
Release Date: November 2011