Friday, May 26, 2023

Eight books set in Hawai’i by local writers

Lisa Zhuang is an intern at Electric Literature. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from Emory University and currently resides in mid-Missouri.

At Electric Lit she tagged eight novels, short stories and poetry collections set in Hawaii and written by local authors, including:
Hula by Jasmin Iolani Hakes

When Laka Naupaka, a former Miss Aloha Hula, returns to Hilo with her white-skinned, red haired daughter Hi’i, Laka’s mother Hulali disowns her. Caught in the rifts of her family, Hi’i begins to practice hula, with the hopes that if she dances until her bones ache, then she can mend the scars of her family. But the Naupaka family trauma goes back farther than Hi’i realizes, all the way to the 1880s, when Hawai’i was forcibly taken from King Kalākaua and given to the United States. Hi’i’s great grandmother Ulu watched as countless families were evicted, and her protective anger has since passed down to her children and grandchildren. Hula is a multigenerational story about hidden history and family trauma.
Read about another entry on the list.

Q&A with Jasmin Iolani Hakes.

--Marshal Zeringue