by Pamela Ball


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Memory and desire—and how the two can be mistaken for each other—are the themes of this magical novel set in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. At the novel's beginning, Kinau says of her husband, gone five years and with another woman, "I could not tell if I was more possessed by Ivan's absence than by the man himself." But then a bizarre incident brings Ivan back, and a new chain of passion and leavetaking inevitably spins itself out.

Kinau's life is shaped by the stories and feral energy of her mother (a woman of many husbands) and by the always hovering and jealous presence of the gods. Revenge for a boy's accidental death calls for a bounty on sharks and results in a fishing frenzy. Tidal waves have wreaked havoc, and will again. A volcano carries its own portentous message. And finally, there is Hawaii itself, source of loss, risk, and possibly salvation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393333367
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 01/01/1980
Pages: 196
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.45(d)

What People are Saying About This

Lisa Shea

"Lava is an exquisite first novel. Pamela Ball has the rare eye of a poet and the ravenous heart of a storyteller."

Andrea Barrett

"Love -- the kind that can't be cured, but only endured -- moves through this mysterious and haunting novel."

Bob Shacochis

"A beautiful, sensuous, volitile novel, press your eyes with dormant passion, filled with fire."

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