I Myself Have Seen It

I Myself Have Seen It

by Susanna Moore
     
 

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The islands of Hawaii have often served Susanna Moore as the canvas for her lush and haunting novels. In I Myself have Seen It, she proves the mystery, beauty, and myth of her native islands to be every bit as compelling as her fiction. She interweaves her own memories of growing up in Honolulu in the 1950s and '60s with a concise chronicle of

Overview

The islands of Hawaii have often served Susanna Moore as the canvas for her lush and haunting novels. In I Myself have Seen It, she proves the mystery, beauty, and myth of her native islands to be every bit as compelling as her fiction. She interweaves her own memories of growing up in Honolulu in the 1950s and '60s with a concise chronicle of Hawaii's two-hundred-year encounter with the West. Seeking the elusive heart of Hawaii, Moore revisits the small rural island of Kauai. In the breathtaking landscape, she discovers that old, unwritten songs of Polynesia have survived despite the onslaught of missionaries in the early 18th century, the establishment of Hawaiian-language newspapers, and foreign attempts to free Hawaiians of their pagan superstitions. These songs and the ones engendered by them, written by queens and hula masters alike, become the centerpiece for Moore's mesmerizing discovery of the real Hawaii.

Editorial Reviews

Newsday
In exquisitely drawn anecdotes, Moore illumines what her life was like as a modern native?. [A] deliciously satisfying travel memoir.?More than a guidebook to Hawaii, Moore's book lets you taste what is really there beyond the tourists traps, the cellophane garlands and the tiny bubbles floating in a cocktail glass.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780792265283
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
04/01/2003
Series:
National Geographic Directions Series
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
885,786
Product dimensions:
5.63(w) x 8.35(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Hawai'i of the travel brochures is a lush tropical destination for millions of visitors every year. But the familiar image of a Pacific paradise barely scratches the surface of the rich history and fascinating culture of the real Hawai'I—and in this evocative, eclectic, and unfailingly engaging book, novelist Susanna Moore shows us a hidden realm no tourist is likely to see.

She interweaves her own memories of growing up in Honolulu in the 1950s and '60s with a concise chronicle of Hawai'I's two-hundred-year encounter with the West—from the great explorer Captain Cook to the American missionaries who followed in his wake to the nineteenth-century haole landowners whose enormous plantations and close-knit society reshaped island life. By turns a sweeping, romantic tale of native kings and ancient ritual and a vividly drawn, personal memoir of a world that is now all but gone, I Myself Have Seen It unfolds against a fascinating backdrop of Polynesian myth whose ocean spirits and fire gods still cast powerful spells.

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Meet the Author

Susanna Moore was raised in Hawaii and now lives in New York City. She is the author of The Whiteness of Bones, Sleeping Beauties, and In the Cut. My Old Sweetheart, her first novel, won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Citation and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. 

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