Announcing the UH Press 75th Anniversary Book Talk Series

Tdecorative seal "75th anniversary" and UH Press logoo mark 75 years of publishing, we are pleased to partner with UH Mānoa Library to present a series of author talks on recently published titles. The talks are held in person at Hamilton Library, Room 306, starting at 4:00 pm, as well as offered virtually. The fall lineup features five authors whose works focus on Hawai‘i and the Pacific. Opening the series on Thursday, Sept. 22 is historian J. Susan Corley and forthcoming authors include Marie Alohalani Brown, Tom Coffman, Craig Santos Perez, and Tuki Drake. The schedule listings with more information, author bios, and links to register for Zoom are on the library events calendar.

Jointly sponsored by University of Hawai‘i Press and UH Mānoa Hamilton Library, the series has plans for spring to highlight some of our Asian studies titles.

FALL 2022 SCHEDULE:

Leveraging soverigntyThursday, September 22
J. Susan Corley
Leveraging Sovereignty: Kauikeaouli’s Global Strategy for the Hawaiian Nation, 1825–1854
https://uhmlibrary.libcal.com/event/9696567

ka poe moo akua book coverWednesday, September 28
Marie Alohalani Brown
Ka Po‘e Mo‘o Akua: Hawaiian Reptilian Water Deities
https://uhmlibrary.libcal.com/event/9697560

inclusion book coverWednesday, October 5
Tom Coffman
Inclusion: How Hawai‘i Protected Japanese Americans from Mass Internment, Transformed Itself, and Changed America
https://uhmlibrary.libcal.com/event/9697068
Craig Santos Perez Indigenous Pacific Islander Eco-LiteraturesWednesday, October 19
Craig Santos Perez
Indigenous Pacific Islander Eco-Literatures
https://uhmlibrary.libcal.com/event/9697737
Mata Austronesia: Stories from an Ocean WorldThursday, October 27
Tuki Drake
Mata Austronesia: Stories from an Ocean World
https://uhmlibrary.libcal.com/event/9701613

≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

Special Features: Korean LGBTQ+ Literature, Remembering Linguists Robert Andrew Blust and Thomas Edward Dutton and more

Azalea

Volume 15 (2022)

From the editor Young-Jun Lee:

A century’s worth of change looks quite remarkable in Korean literature. Today’s young Koreans cannot read the same newspapers read by their grandparents’ generation. In less than a hundred years, the national written language has shifted from Chinese characters to Korean hangul, then briefly to Japanese as enforced under colonial rule, and then to the modern Korean language that we know today. During this process, remarkable sociocultural transformations dominated daily life. Over the first half of the 20th century, Koreans endured enormous political shifts most notably marked by colonization, the Korean War, and the ensuing divide of the country into separate political nations. Along the way, Korean literature registered these upheavals and fluctuations.

Notably, the literature of totalizing grand narrative, which concerned itself with the trajectory of nation-building, persisted in Korea until the 1980s. Ever since the end of the military dictatorship and the establishment of a civil government in the 1990s, however, that literature began to shift its focus to the lives of women. Now, those long ignored and marginalized—including queer women, as well as other queer people such as those who are non-binary— have also begun to emerge more strongly as published authors, even as they have been increasingly centered as subjects of literary narratives. The ongoing impact of this inclusive, expansionary shift
can be seen directly in AZALEA’s decision to focus on LGBTQ+ literature for its fifteenth issue.

Find more poetry, fiction, graphic shorts, and images at Project MUSE.

Oceanic Linguistics

Volume 61, Number 1 (2022)

The new issue includes the following articles and reviews:

The Place of Space in Oceanic Linguistics
Leah Pappas and Alexander Mawyer

Semantics and Pragmatics of Voice in Central Malagasy Oral Narratives
Penelope Howe

On the Nature of Proto-Oceanic *o in Southern Vanuatu (and Beyond)
John Lynch

Rare, but Real: Native Nasal Clusters in Northern Philippine Languages
Robert Blust

The Greater West Bomberai Language Family
Timothy Usher and Antoinette Schapper

The Phonology and Typological Position of Waima’a Consonants
Kirsten Culhane

Find more research articles, squibs, and reviews at Project MUSE.

New Journal Issues: Aloha Shirt Aesthetics, Patterns of Mortuary Practice in Vanuatu, Taiwan Sugar in the 1600s + More

Asian Perspectives

Volume 61, Number 1 (2022)

The new issue includes the following articles and reviews:

Lakheen-Jo-Daro, an Indus Civilization Settlement at Sukkur
in Upper Sindh (Pakistan): A Scrap Copper Hoard and
Human Figurine from a Dated Context

Paolo Biagi and Massimo Vidale

The Hamin Mangha Site: Mass Deaths and Abandonment
of a Late Neolithic Settlement in Northeastern China

Yawei Zhou, Xiaohui Niu, Ping Ji, Yonggang Zhu, Hong Zhu, and
Meng Zhang

Early Metal Age Settlement at the Site of Palemba, Kalumpang,
Karama Valley, West Sulawesi

Anggrreani

Patterns of Mortuary Practice over Millennia in Southern Vanuatu,
South Melanesia

Frédérique Valentin, Wanda Zinger, Alison Fenwick, Stuart Bedford,
James Flexner, Edson Willie, and Takaronga Kuautonga

Find more research articles and reviews at Project MUSE.

Biography

Volume 44, Issues 2 & 3 (2021)

Special Double Issue: Graphic Medicine

Graphic Medicine’s Possible Futures: Reconsidering Poetics and Reading
Erin La Cour and Anna Poletti

Conflict or Compromise?: An Imagined Conversation
with John Hicklenton and Lindsay Cooper about
Living with Multiple Sclerosis

John Miers

Out of Sync: Chronic Illness, Time, and Comics Memoir
Jared Gardner

Face as Landscape: Refiguring Illness, Disability,
and Disorders in David B.’s Epileptic

Erin La Cour

Graphic Confessions and the Vulnerability Hangover
from Hell

Safdar Ahmed

Drawn to History: Healing, Dementia, and the Armenian
Genocide in the Intertextual Collage of Aliceheimer’s

Crystal Yin Lie

Find more at Project MUSE.

Biography

Volume 44, Issue 4 (2021)

Open Forum Articles
Reviews

Editor Craig Howes embraces this volume as he explains:
“The latest issue of Biography qualifies as special because of its ordinariness. After a four-installment run featuring two special issues, an inaugural Forum, and the Annual Bibliography and International Year in Review, we now return to our regularly scheduled programming. Articles and book reviews—that’s all!
But the table of contents for this issue speaks to what has distinguished Biography for decades as a quarterly. First, the articles. Their geographic, historic, linguistic, and generic range is in keeping with our international and interdisciplinary profile. American celebrity biographies and philosophy, twentieth-century Indian regional autobiography, modernist Austrian psychoanalytic biography, post-WWII German-Romanian autofiction, contemporary Palestinian auto/biographical texts—our pages map out and tell the stories of the field.”

Find more articles and reviews at Project MUSE.

The Contemporary Pacific

Volume 34, Issue 1 (2022)

The new issue includes the following articles, dialogues, political, media, and book reviews.

One Salt Water: The Storied Work of Trans-Indigenous Decolonial Imagining with West Papua
Bonnie Etherington

Making Sartorial Sense of Empire: Contested Meanings
of Aloha Shirt Aesthetics

Christen T Sasaki

The Compensation Page: News Narratives of Public Kinship in Papua New Guinea Print Journalism
Ryan Schram

“We Are So Happy EPF Came”: Transformations of Gender in Port Moresby Schools
Ceridwen Spark and Martha Macintyre

Pacific People Navigating the Sacred Vā to Frame Relational Care: A Conversation between Friends across Space and Time
Silia Pa‘usisi Finau, Mele Katea Paea, and Martyn Reynolds

Find more articles, dialogues, political, media, and book reviews at Project MUSE.

New Journal Special Issues: The Religiosity of Tonghak, Vietnamese Linguistics + More

Oregon beautiful picture

Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistic Society

Special Issue:

Vietnamese Linguistics: State of the Field

The new issue features the following introduction by Trang Phan, John Phan, and Mark J. Alves

The current issue is the result of a workshop held at the Harvard Yenching Institute in April of 2021, entitled Vietnamese Linguistics, Typology and Language Universals, and which featured nineteen linguists working on diverse aspects of the Vietnamese language, ranging from semantics to historical phonology. Our purpose in gathering was to take stock of the great leaps in Vietnamese linguistic research that have occurred over the past few decades, to bring together cutting-edge research from each subdiscipline, and to begin a new collaborative dialogue on Vietnamese linguistics, typology, and language universals. Most of all, it was our belief that the time had come to reconsider Vietnamese linguistics as a unified field of inquiry. As a result, a new academic organization was founded: the International Society of Vietnamese Linguistics.
In the past twenty years, research into the Vietnamese language has advanced exponentially, in tandem with developments in our understanding of syntax, semantics, phonetics, and phonology—both on the synchronic and diachronic levels. Specific work on the Vietnamese language now informs and even leads broader linguistic inquiry in a number of unprecedented ways. These new developments invite a concentration of state-the-field research into a single volume, one that will serve not only to summarize current issues in each subdiscipline of Vietnamese linguistics, but also to initiate a longer, more collaborative conversation about the Vietnamese language.
Our goals in this special issue are thus twofold: first, we seek to provide a snapshot of current research into Vietnamese syntax, semantics, phonology, and phonetics, from both the historical and synchronic points of view, that may serve as a resource for linguists interested in exploring our current understanding of the Vietnamese language. Second, we hope that this issue will also serve as an invitation to all linguists working on the Vietnamese language or related languages to contribute to a broader, more cosmopolitan discussion—one in which discoveries of one subdiscipline may serve to inform or enlighten another.


Find more articles at eVols.

New Journal Issues: Water as a Symbol of the Great Dao, #KeepOurLanguagesStrong + More

 

Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (JSEALS)

Papers from the 30th Conference of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society: Special Publication (2021)

The new issue is introduced by Editor in Chief Mark Alves, who states:

The volume contains 21 papers in total: five papers on historical linguistics, eleven papers on syntax and/or morphology, and five papers on phonetics/phonology. The languages covered in this volume are spoken in throughout the greater Southeast Asian region: Mainland Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia, Southern China, and the Indian Subcontinent. The papers range from detailed descriptions of linguistic aspects of understudied languages to probing questions related to multiple groups of languages in the region.

Find more research articles and reviews at eVols.

New Journal Special Issues: We Are Maunakea, Contemporary Japanese Theatre + Digital Methods, Empire Histories

Asian Theatre Journal

Volume 38, Number 1, (2021)

From the Editor Siyuan Liu:

This issue starts with Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei’s appreciation of Leonard Pronko (1927–2019), noted kabuki scholar and teacher who passed away late 2019. Building on her profile of Pronko for Asian Theatre Journal’s “founders of the fields” series (28: 2, 2011), Sorgenfrei offers a touching personal profile of her former professor as an extraordinary human being.
As evidence to the flourishing field of Japanese theatre studies pioneered by Pronko and his peers, this issue continues with a special section on contemporary Japanese theatre with a combination of articles, reports, a translation, and a performance review essay.

cover image

biography

Volume 43, Number 3 (2020)


We Are Maunakea: Aloha ʻĀina Narratives of Protest, Protection, and Place
Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada and Noʻu Revilla

From the guest editors’ introduction:

In the summer of 2019, kiaʻi (protectors) gathered at Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu to defend Maunakea, a sacred mountain, against desecration by the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). Thousands gathered at Ala Hulu Kupuna, or Mauna Kea Access Road. Daily protocols were led by cultural practitioners and long-time protectors of Maunakea, intergenerational Native Hawaiian leadership was developed and empowered on Hawaiian terms, a community kitchen was organized, Puʻuhuluhulu University was established as an actual Hawaiian place of learning, and a collective commitment to ʻāina and kapu aloha rooted all who arrived and all who continue to stay in this movement.
The 2019 stand was also an unprecedented opportunity to witness the battle of narratives, as mainstream media and highly paid public relations firms were outmaneuvered by Kanaka- and ally-authored life writing. This special issue features first-hand accounts, academic reflections, creative works, photography, and interviews with kiaʻi from the 2019 front lines and members of the media team.

Journal of World History

Volume 32, Number 2 (2021)

Special Issue: Digital Methods, Empire Histories

Introduction from Guest Editor Antoinette Burton reads:

The technological evangelism of much of anglophone digital humanities discourse should sit uneasily with empire historians, who know what languages of discovery and “new frontiers” have meant in the context of world history, especially where data collection is concerned. To be sure, digitization has made myriad colonial archives, official and unofficial, available via open access platforms. This means that vast stores of knowledge are now at our fingertips—a proximity and immediacy that has reshaped the lived experience of archival research for many scholars, in this case bringing the imperial world not just closer to home but into the hands of anyone who has access to a cellphone. And the revolution in digital tools in the last twenty-five years has given rise to equally vast possibilities for gathering and visualizing evidence as well as for scaling and interpreting data: for worlding, mostly by aggregation and consolidation, what we aim to know about the kinds of colonial pasts that are available and capturable via text and image. Yet, this information empire is not exactly new. Digitization most often reassembles archival collections proper, sometimes remixing them with print and visual culture and typically organizing them through mechanisms and selection processes that are more or less visible depending on the commitment to transparency of the conglomerator. In some cases, those conglomerators are private individuals or government entities; in others, corporate sponsors; in still others, community-based activists. Inevitably perhaps, today’s digital imperial “data” are actually, more accurately, digitally transformed imperial sources. And for colonial subjects, as for the enslaved, data has more often than not meant terror at the scene of the crime.

AAAS Virtual Book Fair

We are pleased to participate in the inaugural AAAS Virtual Book Fair (August 10–14, 2020) organized by the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) to highlight recent titles released by university presses, especially ones by AAAS members. With the cancellation of the in-person annual meeting, this virtual event fills the gap to celebrate the fine works published in Asian American and Pacific Islander studies. Here is a selection of our new and recent titles in the field:

Beyond Ethnicity: New Politics of Race in Hawai‘i
Edited by Camilla Fojas, Rudy P. Guevarra Jr., and Nitasha Tamar Sharma

Announcing Open Access for a new Pacific title!

book cover image

University of Hawai‘i Press proudly announces the publication of its first born-digital, open-access monograph: JoAnna Poblete’s Balancing the Tides: Marine Practices in American Sāmoa, now available in both complimentary electronic and for-purchase print formats.

Download an open access copy today!

ScholarSpace
JSTOR 
Project Muse
Internet Archive
Google Books
OAPEN

Also available for purchase in print here.

About the Book
“Poblete’s Balancing the Tides is remarkable for its focus on the impact of U.S. federal policies in American Sāmoa. Whether she is discussing federal minimum wage debates or examining federal fishing regulations, Poblete shows how Americans and Sāmoans alike shape and are shaped by the forceful and sometimes flexible nature of U.S. federal marine-related management in American Sāmoa.” —Keith L. Camacho, UCLA

Balancing the Tides highlights the far-reaching influence of marine practices and policies in the unincorporated territory of American Sāmoa on the local indigenous group, the American fishing industry, U.S. environmental programs, and on global discussions about ecology and indigenous communities. Each chapter of the book highlights a type of ocean-use policy or marine-related practice in American Sāmoa to demonstrate how American colonial efforts to protect natural resources intersect with indigenous adherence to customary principles of respect, reciprocity, and native rights. Poblete’s study ultimately connects the U.S.-American Sāmoa colonial relationship to global overfishing, world consumption patterns, the for-profit fishing industry, international environmental movements and studies, as well as native experiences and indigenous rights.

More information on this project
Balancing the Tides is sophisticated scholarship that investigates timely issues at the forefront of conversations in and outside of the academy,” said UH Press executive editor Masako Ikeda. “This makes it an especially well-suited book for OA; by making electronic copies available for download at no cost, we hope Dr. Poblete’s research about American Sāmoa will be more readily available to the people there, as well as to other important audiences, including policy makers and students.”

The first UH Press title to be released in OA prior to the print edition, Poblete’s book is produced through the Sustainable History Monograph Pilot, an initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that seeks to develop a viable model for publishing high-quality scholarship in OA format by employing new production technologies. “The OA edition of Balancing the Tides is really a landmark event,” said interim director Joel Cosseboom. “It not only sets a precedent for OA publishing at UH Press, but also contributes to our goal of serving indigenous communities throughout the Pacific.”

Other UH Press titles forthcoming from the Sustainable History Monograph Pilot will address the histories of Vietnam, Korea, and Vanuatu. “My hope is that UH Press will soon be able to adopt the new technologies employed by this program to issue more OA publications, especially in Hawaiian and Pacific studies,” said Cosseboom.

The next SHMP title will be Alec Holcombe’s Mass Mobilization in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, 1945–1960.

In Memoriam: Trần Đình Trụ, 1935-2019

We mark last week’s passing of Trần Đình Trụ, the author of Ship of Fate: Memoir of a Vietnamese Repatriate (UH Press, 2017), with words from the book’s co-translators Jana K. Lipman and Bac Hoai Tran:  

Tran, smiling, seated at desk.“Trần Đình Trụ’s life story was one of grace, fortitude, and devotion to his family. A skilled seaman and a naval commander, he journeyed from North Vietnam to South Vietnam as a young man, and then from South Vietnam to the Philippines, Guam, Japan, and ultimately, the United States. In his memoir, he recounts his evacuation from South Vietnam in 1975, his experiences in a refugee camp in Guam, and his decision to return to Vietnam in October 1975 with more than 1500 Vietnamese repatriates as the captain of the Việt Nam Thương Tín. After he successfully navigated the ship back to Vietnam, the new government viewed him and the repatriates with fear and suspicion. Trần Đình Trụ suffered physical and psychological brutality in “re-education” camps for more than twelve years. On release, he finally rejoined with his family and resettled in the United States. Through his memoir, Trần Đình Trụ captured the singularity of his life story and the universality of despair and uncertainty at the end of war. He will be deeply missed by his family and community.”

Read more about the book and Tru’s life in an essay by Professor Lipman that first appeared in The Conversation and was republished on the UH Press blog.

Call for a Co-Editor for Rapa Nui Journal

Applications are invited for the position of co-editor of Rapa Nui Journal: The Journal of the Easter Island Foundation (RNJ). The journal is published by the University of Hawai‘i Press in partnership with the Easter Island Foundation. Dr. Mara Mulrooney has served as the journal editor for the past several years and is looking forward to sharing the editorial duties with one or two co-editors.

The journal, launched in 1986 as Rapa Nui Notes, serves as a forum for interdisciplinary scholarship in the humanities and social sciences on Easter Island and the Eastern Polynesian region. Each issue may include Research Articles, Research Reports, Commentaries or Dialogues, Book or Media Reviews and EIF News.

RNJ is published twice a year and welcomes contributions from a wide range of social, cultural, indigenous and historical disciplines on topics related to the lives and cultures of the peoples of Rapa Nui and Eastern Polynesia. Abstracts for articles may be published in English, Spanish, and Rapanui. We welcome submissions from scholars across Oceania, North and South America, and beyond.

The editors are expected to assist in raising the profile of the journal, provide support increasing submissions, and secure timely and appropriate peer-review of articles. Editors will make the final decision on manuscripts, informing both the author(s) and reviewers of the final disposition. The editors must show openness to communicating with scholars about diverse ideas, openness to a diverse range of methodologies, and eagerness to continue building the journal’s reputation.

In accordance with the University of Hawai‘i Press’ mission to publish high quality scholarship, the following criteria are considered in selecting editors:

  • established record of scholarship
  • evidence of understanding the mission of the journal and its operation
  • a vision for the journal’s future
  • record of responsible service to scholarly publishing
  • evidence of organizational skill and intellectual leadership

The actual costs associated with production and the online submission system for the journal are covered by the publisher.

Selection Process: (1) Applications will be received by the UH Press Journals Manager by Sept. 4, 2019.  (2) The applicants will be reviewed and ranked by the current journal editor and UH Press Journals Manager. (3) The top two candidates will be contacted by phone for an interview and to discuss the journal editorial workflow by Sept. 25, 2019. (4) The candidate selection will be made by Oct. 10, 2019. (5) The new editor(s) will begin working with the current editor and UH Press no later than January 2020. (6) All other applicants will be notified of the final selection.

Applications: The applications should include the following:

Vision Statement: Set forth your goals and plans for the content of the journal.

Co-Editors Background Information: Describe the qualifications and experience of each person on the editorial team that supports their inclusion. There is no need to include names of individuals that you would like to include on the larger editorial board. If you wish to include names of nominees for Book Review editors, you may; these individuals will be appointed by the editors after they are selected, so you are not required to include them in your application.

Institutional Support: It is important for candidates to examine the feasibility of serving as co-editor in light of the resources provided by the publisher and their own home university. If candidates expect to receive support from their host institution, we request a preliminary letter of support from a dean or other appropriate institutional official.

CVs for all potential co-editors (and if applicable, any associate editors).

For questions and further information about the application process, please contact: Pamela Wilson, Journals Manager, pwilson6@hawaii.edu. We encourage anyone who is considering an application and wants to discuss ideas or ask questions, to get in touch. The application packet should be no more than five (5) pages (excluding CVs), and must be received by Sept. 4, 2019.

Applications may be emailed as PDFs to Pamela Wilson, Journals Manager at pwilson6@hawaii.edu.

University of Hawaii Press, 2840 Kolowalu Street Honolulu, HI 96822

Tel: (808) 956-6790

https://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/journals/


Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & Culture, Volume 12 (2019)

From Young-Jun Lee’s Editor’s Note

Last year, peace in Korea seemed imminent, thanks to cooperation between Trump and Kim, but now, with the subsequent failure of talks, that expectation has diminished. Still, perhaps because of that failure, it is very noisy in front of Seoul Station or at Gwanghwamun Square these days, where people gather every weekend to make their opinions known. This clamor can be seen as expressing Korea’s disorder, or it can be seen as evidence of Korea’s eagerness for change. Social energy in Korea is still very high. The same goes for Korean literature.

Writer in Focus: Kim Kyung-uk

Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton
Introduction

Kim Kyung-uk
The Mailman, Olivia Hussey, and Robert Redford
Heaven’s Door
Mirror and Window
Excerpt from Man in the Mirror

Fiction

Kong Sŏn-ok
Single Mother

Choi Jinyoung
Nearly

Jeong Yi Hyun
Forever Summer

Yun Ko-Eun
The Chef’s Nail

Choi Eunyoung
Sister, My Little Soonae

Also in this issue:
Special Feature: Hansi by Ch’usa Kim Chŏng-hŭi,
Special Feature: Zainichi Literature and Film
Images by Too Bohnchang, an image index, and a Notes on Contributors section.

 

 


About the Journal

Azalea promotes Korean literature among English-language readers. Azalea introduces to the world new writers as well as promising translators, providing the academic community of Korean studies with well-translated texts for college courses. Writers from around the world also share their experience of Korean literature or culture with wider audiences.

From the Backstage of Publishing: Memories of Milton Murayama

headshot of Milton MurayamaOriginally this post was a way to mark this month’s Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month by sharing personal memories from an editorial perspective of a pioneering Asian American literary icon, Milton Murayama. It has grown to include other remembrances from a marketing perspective. We are all proud to be the publisher of his bestselling novels.

Masako Ikeda, Acquisitions:

I only met Milton Murayama once, at the Asian American studies conference held in Honolulu in 1991. I tagged along with Sharon Yamamoto, who acquired his manuscripts for Five Years on a Rock and then Plantation Boy. Nothing at that meeting was particularly memorable as I sort of stood in the background, but I ended up enjoying serving as his managing editor for those two books. We wrote letters back and forth and continued to do so even as the century changed. Most of the time all he said in his letters was that he wanted to buy copies of his books or he was writing a new book, which wouldn’t be finished for a while.

After Five Years our production department held onto an old computer drive knowing that Milton had not updated his system and refused to do so. Our marketing staff coaxed him a number of times: “Milton, I’ll help you set it all up.” He kept sending me hard copy manuscripts with perforations on both ends along with five-inch floppy disks. The manuscript wasn’t complete so he wanted everything back, including the floppy disks, which he couldn’t find anymore. Right before he sent the 4 books by Murayama, standing upright on deskvery final manuscript, which eventually became Dying in a Strange Land, we had gotten rid of the drive, and there was no way to read his WordPerfect files. I ended up asking our Production staffer to keystroke everything, which she did in three days.

Communication with Milton was always interesting and often a little strange. He’d call to complain about the copy editor who didn’t understand that “Pidgin English doesn’t have ellipses points, or letter spaces in between.” He would also hesitate to say “Okay bye” and hang up the phone, so our conversation would go on for a long time with several seconds of dead silence breaking our talks in the most uncomfortable way.

Milton passed away in July 2016, and I didn’t know it until a month later when we saw the obituary in the Sunday paper. I felt guilty for not staying in touch. I do think of him quite often just as I think about Sharon, his true editor, whose passing was almost fourteen years earlier.

Steven Hirashima, Marketing:

My fondest memories of Milton would be visiting his fudge brown three-story home in the hillside area of Glen Park of San Francisco. Whenever I was in town I would always make a point to book a visit. The ritual was always the same. I would call to say I’m leaving the hotel and heading for the Union Square BART Station. Once at Glen Park, I would call to say I arrived and no more than five minutes later Milton would arrive in his old Toyota and we would head up the steep and winding road to his “retreat in the hills.”

5 people, including Murayama and wife Dawn, wearing lei.
L to R: Steven Hirashima, Marie Hara, Milton Murayama, Dawn Murayama, Carol Abe after the “Revisiting Murayama” presentation, November 2008.

Overlooking the flatlands of the city with Candlestick Park and SFO to the west, I would always be given a tour as to what was updated or repurposed around the house since my last visit (the actor Lou Diamond Phillips’s childhood family had been a previous neighbor), from a newly reapportioned sunroom downstairs to a section outside with a bed of spring flowers to Milton’s designated writing room where tucked in a corner would be his antique word processor (a Commodore 64), which I almost convinced him to ditch in favor of a newfangled Mac but he never wavered and remained forever faithful to his trusty machine.

Any trip to the Murayamas would invariably end in the kitchen where Milton and Dawn were the most gracious of hosts. We would often gather around the large formal dinner table for spirited conversation from his next book project or his time in the 442nd, feasting on a bowl of delicious Alaskan King crab legs and steamed garlic brussels sprouts, masterfully prepared by Milton only minutes before. Looking back, they were wonderful and precious times. How I long for another afternoon with Milton. Until then, God Speed and Aloha.

Carol Abe, Marketing:

My very first encounter with Milton was in 1975, the year his original edition of All I Asking for Is My Body published, the green one with the bamboo forest on the cover and an overly large “$3” printed on the back All 5 of Murayama's books, surrounded by clippings and letterscover. He and wife Dawn lined up signings at Honolulu Book Shops, at which I was a bookstore clerk (we weren’t called “booksellers” until twenty years later). Of course I bought a copy with my generous employee discount and had it signed, but didn’t otherwise have a personal connection to him. Jump to 2008: I’d been at UH Press for ten years and we released Milton’s fourth and final novel in his tetralogy about the Oyama family. Steve Hirashima had switched to managing our Asian studies list and I did the same for our Hawai‘i, Pacific, and Asian American titles.

Dying in a Strange Land had a pub date of June but Milton called and said he would wait to visit in the fall, when it’d be cooler, and he only wanted to do low-key promotion of a few bookstore signings. Then, as now, the Press had no travel funds to support a book tour anyway. He finally decided November would be a good time to come and would do Maui and O‘ahu signings, but no readings or talks. So I booked a combination of Barnes & Noble and Borders stores that followed his wishes and filled his itinerary. We corresponded by snail mail and exchanged letters. In one of these, Milton revealed some of the real-life equivalents to the characters in his books. He wrote, “There’s more fact than fiction in my stories.”

After a fan of his scolded me for not paying for his travel and doing him justice, a series of serendipitous things happened that culminated in an event more befitting of a literary icon, “Revisiting Murayama: From Plantation to Diaspora.” Gary Pak, as it happened, had videotaped an interview with Milton that he still needed to screen; the amazing Marie Hara agreed to be co-organizer and was a conduit to both UHM English department and Bamboo Ridge; Craig Howes put me in touch with Phyllis 3 books opened to page showing author signed the bookLook, who had directed a play of All I Asking. The program developed further by recruiting Arnold Hiura, Lee Cataluna, and one of our student employees, Tricia Tolentino, all tied together with Steve as emcee. (And, by rolling the dice, we obtained funding from SEED and Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities, including an honorarium for Milton.)

During their visit, I had chauffeured Milton and Dawn to four or five appearances, perhaps being a bit manic in my driving. At the end, I asked Milton to sign my copy of Dying in a Strange Land. We all laughed warmly as I read his inscription: “It’s been fun getting to know you. I love smart flaky women, who’re also good drivers.” It was my honor and pleasure to have been a tiny part of his life.

+++

Each of Milton’s novels can be read separately and not in sequence. Dying in a Strange Land is on sale now, at a very special price—click here to order.