Kirby Wright was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a graduate of Punahou School in Honolulu and the University of California at San Diego. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Wright has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and is a past recipient of the Honolulu Weekly Nonfiction Award, the Jodi Stutz Memorial Prize in Poetry, the Ann Fields Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poets Award, the Robert Browning Award for Dramatic Monologue, and Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowships in Poetry and The Novel. BEFORE THE CITY, his first poetry collection, took First Place at the 2003 San Diego Book Awards. Wright is also the author of the companion novels PUNAHOU BLUES and MOLOKA'I NUI AHINA, both set in Hawaii. He was a Visiting Fellow at the 2009 International Writers Conference in Hong Kong, where he represented the Pacific Rim region of Hawaii. He was also a Visiting Writer at the 2010 Martha's Vineyard Residency in Edgartown, Mass., and the 2011 Artist in Residence at Milkwood International, Czech Republic. His futuristic thriller "THE END, MY FRIEND: Prelude to the Apocalypse" was released in Fall 2013.
Moloka'i Nui Ahina: Summers on the Lonely Isleby Kirby Wright
Julia Daniels, a Moloka'i pioneer woman of mixed blood, invites her grandsons Jeff and Ben to spend summers with her at her ranch on the east end. She shares the ranch with Chipper, an alcoholic war hero with a life estate bordering the swamp. The brothers roam a paradise of fishponds, waterfalls, pristine valleys, and mountains with herds of deer. Jeff meets the Kahuna Woman who freezes pictures of her enemies, the TS who seduces the Chief of Police, the man who refs cock fights in Kaunakakai, the sexy divorcee who lives in the Saddle Room, and the prodigal grandfather who returns to woo Julia. These characters help shape Jeff's sensibilities as he discovers the secrets of his grandmother's wild past in Honolulu and the intensity of her struggles on the Lonely Isle.
- Lemon Shark Press
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- KIRBY WRIGHT
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.77(d)
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This is a coming of age novel cast as a memoir set on the rough and tumble east end of a remote Hawaiian island. The focal character is Julia Daniels, a pioneer woman who was Molokai's first woman paniolo (cowboy). The author does an outstanding job of stringing together 14-straight summers as we learn about Julia's wild past in Honolulu and the intensity of her struggles on the Lonely Isle. Highly recommended.
The opening reminds me of Joyce's PORTRAIT in that we enter the boy's interior world and his struggle to make meaning with phrases such as 'vanilla mare' and drawing a parallel with the giant Cooke pine and the beanstalk in a fairy tale. What you get is the maturation process of the boy as he learns more and more about his grandmother's life on the rural, rough and tumble east end of the island. During the course of 14 straight summer vacations, the boy overcomes his fears to become matchmaker, referee in the odd relationship between his older brother and grandmother, and confidant to both the grandmother and ex-husband (who has a life estate on the property). I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys literature and wishes to be immersed in the Hawaiian culture.