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Second Novel by Kirby Wright

We are happy to announce the publication of Moloka'i Nui Ahina, a parallel novel to Punahou Blues. Julia Daniels, a Moloka'i pioneer woman of mixed blood, invites her grandsons Jeff and Ben to spend summers with her at her ranch. She shares the land with ex-husband Chipper, an alcoholic war hero with a life estate bordering the swamp. The boys roam a paradise of fishponds, waterfalls, and mountains with herds of deer. Jeff meets the kahuna woman who freezes pictures of her enemies, the transsexual who seduces the Chief of Police, the man who referees cock fights in Kaunakakai, the foxy divorcee who lives in the saddle room, and the prodigal grandfather who returns to woo Julia. These characters shape Jeff's sensibilities as he learns the secrets of his grandmother's wild past in Honolulu and the intensity of her struggles on the Lonely Isle.

molokai nui ahina The vivid images of colorful scenery and characters are so well depicted it is almost Steinbeck-esque.  You are drawn into the story so deeply as if being immersed in Hawaiiana.  The overwhelming theme is the quest for love and one's identity.  No matter what the circumstances, love is always sought in some form.  And the lessons being learned all revolve around its strength, regardless of how heartless and tough one seems to be on the exterior.
Although this is a work of fiction, how 'loosely' this story is based on Mr. Wright's remarkable paniolo grandmother, we'll never know.  But he has most certainly immortalized the life of an incredible woman in this work.
Gordana Liddell, BELLAONLINE, The Voice of Women
If you're looking for a superbly written novel with engaging characters and a magnificent landscape, then this book is for you.
Laura Langer, www.ArmchairInterviews.com

 

   
Hawaiian Writer Kirby Wright
Releases First Novel

Lemon Shark Press is pleased to announce the publication of Punahou Blues, a coming of age novel by Honolulu writer Kirby Wright. The book is written from the perspective of an outsider searching for identity at Punahou during the 60s and 70s. Locals will enjoy flashbacks to a bygone era—the Young Hotel, HIC, Queen’s Surf nightclub, and Glade Swing Club. The book is also packed with kama’aina icons such as Duke, C&K, Bobo Olson, and J. Akuhead Pupule. The boy narrator’s rite of passage includes losing the girl of his dreams, dealing with his father’s great expectations, surviving Killahaole Day, fighting the school bully, and outwitting the class dean.

“For those who were fortunate enough to attend Punahou, walk the corridors of Dillingham Hall and pray in Thurston Memorial Chapel, Punahou Blues is a trip back to those magical days of their youths.”
—Bobby Command, West Hawaii Today
 
“Punahou Blues is the best novel of Hawai’i I’ve read...ever. What makes a novel good and even important is the writer’s ability to make the lives of the characters matter to me (a reader), the ability to tell the stories of the characters compellingly and, finally, the capacity for making me reflect on my own life and experience. By all three measures, Wright succeeds. Until now, I have felt that there was just one story of Hawai’i that really had to eventually be made into a movie. Now, I know a second one that absolutely should catch Hollywood’s attention.
—Joseph W. Bean, Maui Weekly

 

   
Hawaiian Poet Kirby Wright
Releases Critically Acclaimed Collection

Lemon Shark Press is pleased to announce the publication of Before the City, a collection of poems and prose poems by Honolulu poet Kirby Wright. The collection includes “Aloha Lili’uokalani,” a poem distributed hand to hand on the grounds of Iolani Palace during the 100-year anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy.

Before The City “I recognize Kirby Wright as one of my own people, the citizens of the Pacific Rim. His heart is in Hawaii and California, aina and querencia. His fresh new voice sings love and concern for the beings along the shores and in the parks and gardens—and in the cities.”
— Maxine Hong Kingston, author of To Be the Poet and The Fifth Book of Peace
 
“Kirby Wright’s poetry has always driven to the heart of the land and the people.”
— Rudolfo Anaya
     

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