Navigating Caribbean and Pacific Island Literatures

Routes and Roots: Navigating Caribbean and Pacific Island Literatures, by Elizabeth DeLoughrey, is the first comparative study of Caribbean and Pacific Island literatures and the first work to bring indigenous and diaspora literary studies together in a sustained dialogue. Taking the “tidalectic” between land and sea as a dynamic starting point, Elizabeth DeLoughrey foregrounds geography and history in her exploration of how island writers inscribe the complex relation between routes and roots.

“Elizabeth DeLoughrey invokes the cyclical model of the continual movement and rhythm of the ocean (‘tidalectics’) to destabilize the national, ethnic, and even regional frameworks that have been the mainstays of literary study. The result is a privileging of alter/native epistemologies whereby island cultures are positioned where they should have been all along—at the forefront of the world historical process of transoceanic migration and landfall. The research, determination, and intellectual dexterity that infuse this nuanced and meticulous reading of Pacific and Caribbean literature invigorate and deepen our interest in and appreciation of island literature.” —Vilsoni Hereniko, University of Hawai‘i

May 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3122-6 / $29.00 (PAPER)

Kneubuhl Receives the Cades Award for Literature

Playwright Victoria Kneubuhl, the author of Hawai‘i Nei: Island Plays, is the most recent recipient of the Elliot Cades Award for Literature, presented annually by the Hawai‘i Literary Arts Council. Kneubuhl’s first mystery novel, The Portrait Murders, will be published by University of Hawai‘i Press in 2008. She will be reading from her work at this month’s Hawai‘i Books and Music Festival.

Kneubuhl’s family boasts several accomplished writers, including her uncle, John, the author of Think of a Garden and Other Plays, published by University of Hawai‘i Press, and Lemanatele Mark Kneubuhl, the author of The Smell of the Moon, distributed in North America by University of Hawai‘i Press and published by New Zealand’s Huia Publishers.

The Casebook of Old Edo’s Sherlock Holmes Reviewed

Tom Baker in the April 21, 2007 edition of The Daily Yomiuri had this to say about Okamoto Kido’s The Curious Casebook of Inspector Hanshichi: Detective Stories of Old Edo, recently published by University of Hawai‘i Press:

“An entertaining collection of detective stories. . . . The Curious Casebook of Inspector Hanshichi offers a special pleasure for readers familiar with the Tokyo area, where well-known place names appear on every page, but with startling different details.”

A contemporary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author Okamoto Kido examines the seamy underside of life in Edo (Tokyo) through his fictional detective, the street-smart Hanshichi. Modeled after Doyle’s tales about his own Sherlock Holmes, these fourteen stories, translated by Ian MacDonald, offer entertaining insights into the development of the modern Japanese crime novel.

Read the full text of Tom Baker’s review here.

UH Press Authors at the Hawaii Book and Music Festival, May 19-20

More than a dozen University of Hawai‘i Press authors* will be presenters at the second annual Hawai‘i Book and Music Festival, a celebration of Island books and music to be held on May 19-20, 2007, on the grounds of Honolulu Hale (City Hall). The free weekend event will feature readings, panels, and performances (download a program schedule here) by more than 350 celebrated local, national, and international authors, crafters, and musicians.

To view books by UH Press authors at the event and our latest titles, please stop by the UH Press tent, located near the Hawaiian Pavilion along King Street. See you there!

*Victoria Kneubuhl, J. Arthur Rath, Leslie Hayashi, Caren Loebel-Fried, Albert Wendt, Frank Stewart, Marion Coste, Sue Cowing, Mike Markrich, Jon Osorio, Davianna McGregor, Maxine Hong Kingston, Samuel King, Randall Roth, Billy Bergin, Gaye Chan, Haunani-Kay Trask, Mark Panek.

U.S. Imperialism and Black Slavery in the Pacific

Worldwide supplies of sugar and cotton were impacted dramatically as the U.S. Civil War dragged on. New areas of production entered these lucrative markets, particularly in the South Pacific, and plantation agriculture grew substantially in disparate areas such as Australia, Fiji, and Hawaii. The increase in production required an increase in labor; in the rush to fill the vacuum, freebooters and other unsavory characters began a slave trade in Melanesians and Polynesians that continued into the twentieth century.

The White Pacific: U.S. Imperialism and Black Slavery in the South Seas after the Civil War, by Gerald Horne, ranges over the broad expanse of Oceania to reconstruct the history of “blackbirding” (slave trading) in the region. It examines the role of U.S. citizens (many of them ex-slaveholders and ex-confederates) in the trade and its roots in Civil War dislocations.

“Horne’s book is impressive in its research and compelling in its history and argument. It pieces together a marvelously suggestive story of the African American presence in the Pacific. . . .This is transnational history at its most ambitious and materially grounded best and includes superb comparative insights.” —David Roediger, Kendrick C. Babcock Professor of History, University of Illinois

May 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3147-9 / $29.00 (PAPER)

The Growth and Collapse of Pacific Island Societies

In their accounts of exploration, early European voyagers in the Pacific frequently described the teeming populations they encountered on island after island. Yet missionary censuses and later nineteenth-century records often indicate much smaller populations on Pacific Islands, leading many scholars to debunk the explorers’ figures as romantic exaggerations. Recently, the debate over the indigenous populations of the Pacific has intensified, and The Growth and Collapse of Pacific Island Societies: Archaeological and Demographic Perspectives, edited by Patrick V. Kirch and Jean-Louis Rallu, addresses the problem from new perspectives.

Were there major population collapses on Pacific Islands following first contact with the West? If so, what were the actual population numbers for islands such as Hawai‘i, Tahiti, or New Caledonia? Is it possible to develop new methods for tracking the long-term histories of island populations? These and related questions are at the heart of this new book, which draws together cutting-edge research by archaeologists, ethnographers, and demographers.

May 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3134-9 / $60.00 (CLOTH)