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Events

  • Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival 2012

    Join us at the Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival next weekend, May 5-6, at Honolulu Hale!

    The wonderful folks at HAWAI‘I Magazine included this delightful illustration by Tony Ablen in their newest issue (now available in digital format) to help spread the word about the Festival. (Click the image to enlarge.)

    Come down, shop the fantastic bargains, buy direct from local publishers, meet local authors and hear great music. Plenty of fun for the keiki, with entertainment and activities all day long. Want to see what’s happening when? Download the schedule.

    Watermark will be offering great deals on new books, anywhere from 20% - 80% off, and a wide selection of “publisher’s hurts” (used books) as low as $2 for a softcover book!

    Take $10 off your $25 purchase (new books only) with this coupon:

    See you there!

  • 2012 Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards Ceremony

    Please join the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association
    for a special reception and awards presentation featuring the nominees and winners of the
    2012 Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards

    FRIDAY EVENING, MAY 11, 2012
    at Bishop Museum’s Atherton Halau

    Reception to follow in the Hawaiian Hall Atrium and Courtyard

    6:00PM - Awards Presentation
    7:30PM - Gala Reception & Book Signing Celebration

    Tickets to the reception are $25 and include:

    Heavy pupu buffet and cocktails
    Gourmet European chocolate truffles by Choco Le‘a
    Entertainment by Ka ‘Eha
    Book sale and author signing with proceeds to benefit Bishop Museum

    Tickets can be purchased at
    Native Books/Na Mea Hawai‘i at Ward Warehouse (808-596-8885)

    For more information email aloha@hawaiibooks.org

    This event made possible with support from the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

  • Upcoming Events - May 2012

    A couple of exciting events coming up with our authors, including the annual Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival!

    Author

    May 1: Frances Kakugawa returns to the Big Island to read from KAPOHO at Kilauea. Chicken skin!

    Life in a small village with no indoor plumbing, just outhouses, no hot showers, just boiled water for baththubs, is not easy. It's even harder when you are a second generation Japanese-American girl and the Japanese have just bombed Pearl Harbor. During the war years, families buried heirlooms in their backyards, lest they be suspected of treasonous Japanese loyalties. Less than 20 years later, the same families watched as their homes were buried under lava from the erupting Kilauea volcano.

    These are the experiences Frances will share as she reads from her newest memoir, Kapoho, at the Kilauea Visitors Center on Tuesday, May 1, as part of the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park “After Dark in the Park” program. Your $2 donation is requested to help continue programs like ADIP. Doors open at 6:30PM, reading begins at 7PM.

    May 5-6: The 7th Annual Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival. Honolulu Hale, 10AM - 5PM, both days.

    Frances Kakugawa (Kapoho, Wordsworth the Poet) and Christine Thomas (Don’t Look Back: Hawaiian Myths Made New) will be among the featured panelists. Frances joins authors Janny Scott, Julia Flynn Siler and Sydney Iaukea in the Authors Pavilion at 4PM on Saturday, May 5, to discuss “Agendas in Biography & Memoir.” Christine will be joined by fellow Don’t Look Back contributors Robert Barclay, Marion Lyman-Mersereau and Victoria Kneubuhl, in the OHA Alana Pavilion at 1PM on Sunday, May 6, to read selected myths from the collection and talk about the enduring power and importance of myth.

    Visit us at our booth to the right of the Main Stage for great deals on new books and deep discount bargains on gently used bookstore returns. All books are priced 20-80% off! Click here for a coupon good for $10 off your $25 purchase.

  • Look Forward to These Don't Look Back Readings

    Don’t Look Back anthology editor Christine Thomas and nationally best-selling Big Island novelist Darien Gee (aka Mia King) will appear at multiple Big Island book signing events at the end of February for the new collection of modern mo‘olelo Don’t Look Back: Hawaiian Myths Made New, featuring their work and that of 15 other Hawai‘i writers. [See their full schedule here]

    Why reinvent old myths? Noted Hawaiian language scholar Puakea Nogelmeier explains:

    The perpetuity of myth and legend is, and has always been, paralleled by a lively tradition of distilling, retelling, and recasting the epics and grand tales in completely new, often abbreviated, contemporary forms. These recast stories are themselves brand-new and sometimes spontaneous productions. With themes and dynamics drawn from the classics, the characters are often contemporary and may barely reflect the original heroes and gods, the settings are intentionally familiar, and the issues and actions are intentionally current. The myths, in their “classical” forms, connect the common roots of human society from times ancient to today, while the recastings make the longevity of those attitudes, principles, and ethics immediately relevant.

    The contemporary tales in this collection are presented as chants of celebration, arias of advice, and revelatory refrains, composed in resonance with the tempos and scales of stories long known and legends long told.

    — Dr. M. Puakea Nogelmeier, foreword to Don’t Look Back

    You won’t want to miss hearing these women read their captivating new takes on old stories. Here are short teaser excerpts from each of their tales to whet your appetite:

    Darien

    PELE IN THERAPY by Darien Gee

    Inspired by the Legend of Pele’s Exile

    There are variations to the story of how Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes, came to Hawai‘i, but a common one holds that she was exiled from Tahiti by her parents, who were concerned about Pele’s ongoing battles with her older sister, the water goddess Namaka o Kaha‘i, whose husband Pele had seduced. Contemporary folklore talks of Pele’s ability to change her form, and sightings of Pele as a beautiful young woman, an old hag, or a white dog abound, usually before a lava flow and as a test of people’s goodness and values.

     “Pele in Therapy” is a loose translation of Pele’s exile to Hawai‘i and her own awakening that occurs as a result. I entwined several Pele myths, both classical and contemporary, to create a modern view of the goddess. While I am loath to say that any deity would be in need of therapy, it is not inconceivable that the opportunity to “vent” might be welcome, especially when you consider that this particular goddess reigns over an active volcano.

    * * *

    When I open the door, there’s a striking young woman on my doorstep, her dark hair pulled away from her face. She’s wearing a sundress, but you can see the outline of her body through the thin fabric. Her figure is so perfect that I can’t stop staring. I have a weakness for dessert, for chocolate in particular, and I know I’ve let my body go. Normally I wouldn’t care, but being in Hawai‘i has made me envy youths with their flat stomachs and perfect breasts. And their butts—they have no cellulite. I can’t even remember life before cellulite.

    The woman is muttering under her breath, twisting a loose strand of hair around a slender finger. I want to say she’s in her twenties but I can’t quite place her age.

    “Can I help you?” I ask.

    “I don’t have an appointment.” Her face is dark.

    “That’s fine. I happen to have an opening…”

    “I’m having a bad day,” she continues, forlorn. “I saw your sign outside. Find your inner goddess or something?”

    “You mean ‘Discover the Goddess Within’?”

    “Close enough.” She steps into the condo before I have a chance to invite her in.

    I offer her water or tea but she shakes her head. We settle in the living room, which is more spacious and comfortable with the small changes I’ve made. The woman’s forehead is puckered in a frown.

    “My love life,” she says. “It’s on the rocks.”

    “I see.” I nod and clear my throat. “I should mention that there’s a ten percent discount if you pay for your session in cash…”

    She ignores me. “I think he’s in love with someone else.” She lets out a heavy sigh and the whole room seems to sigh with her. “He saw me in a moment when I didn’t look like this…” She gestures to her body, her perfectly made-up self. “…And he fled.”

    She now has my full attention. Men!, I want to spit out, but instead I nod sympathetically. “I understand.” I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to always look so beautiful. People start to expect it, and the minute you have a bad hair day, their illusions are shattered. I pick up my notebook in an attempt to look like I’m doing something. I write the day’s date, the time, and realize I don’t even know her name.

    “I’m Katherine,” I say. “And you are…?”

    [Click here to read more from PELE IN THERAPY by Darien Gee]

    * - * - *

    Christine

    PLACES OF ENTRY by Christine Thomas

    Inspired by the Legend of Halemano

    Halemano dreams of a woman named Kamalalawalu—the daughter of two high chiefs, raised under a strict kapu—but upon awakening can’t remember her name. He falls so deeply in love that he won’t eat or drink, becomes very ill, and finally dies. His sister, the sorceress Laenihi (who can transform into a fish), arrives at Halemano’s bedside at their grandmother’s house and brings him back to life. When Laenihi learns of the mysterious dream woman, she tells Halemano all about her, her favorite brother, and their beloved dogs.

    I discovered the myth while doing research for my first novel at London’s British Library, which has a surprisingly ample Hawaiiana collection. About three-quarters of the way through my draft, I came upon “The Legend of Halemano” and realized its strange echo of my story. I hadn’t intended or ever thought of rewriting a myth, but there it was—an ancient tale to which my contemporary one was unintentionally connected. In retrospect, this discovery was the first seed of this collection, so I wanted to include a portion of the story to reveal how I unknowingly inverted the original myth.

    * * *

    Pua taps on the redwood door of Kai’s room, and then shouts her brother’s name loud as she walks in. The room is dark, the afternoon sun blocked by a coarse bamboo shade; when she rolls it up, Kai’s deep voice cracks, asking her to close it again. She hears but acts like she doesn’t, leaning over the bed to peer at his face, casting a new shadow over him. She keeps her voice crisp, not wanting to betray worry or acceptance of what could still just be elaborate self-pity.

    “What you doing? I have for go school or work ev-ery frick-in day and you just lying in bed whenever you like. No fair.”

    “Go. Away.”

    “How ’bout I lie down and you go serve grumpy mainlanders at that dumbass Convention Center. ’Kay? Get up or you going be late.”

    The mattress dips as she squeezes in beside him and then shakes as she forces a laugh. But when humor provokes no movement or response, the knots return to Pua’s stomach, tentacles tightening. Tutu leans her head in, then vanishes.

    “You okay? Should I be worried?”

    “It’s nothing. Just go. Go to work.”

    “Tutu says you’re not eating. And you sit in here all day, see nobody or even talk. I mean, alone time is one thing, but…”

    Silence.

    “You need to eat, Kai. Get fresh air.”

    She stares at the ti leaves outside the window, can almost feel the heat soaking into the soft fibers. She gets up and turns on some music. Still nothing.

    She is definitely going to be late, and if it’s even one minute they dock her pay. So she asks the inevitable question, utters the name she thinks will rouse her brother and allow her into his thoughts.

    “Is it Eliza?”

    No response—not even a shift in position or tensing of muscles. He remains stiff, cold, as though long soaked in water.

    She looks again at her watch. “Hey, I’ve gotta go. I’m really gonna be late.” She hesitates. “But I’ll be back later, ’kay?”

    Then she creeps into the hall, afraid of what might happen if she stays, of what will happen if she leaves.

    [Click here to read more from PLACES OF ENTRY by Christine Thomas]

    Like what you’ve read? Purchase Don’t Look Back at our online store or your local bookstore or connect with Christine and Darien at one of their upcoming Big Island events.

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