Murder Leaves Its Mark Book Launch Events

Murder Leaves Its MarkThe public is invited to Victoria Kneubuhl’s book-signings and appearances to mark the publication of her latest Mina Beckwithand Ned Manusia mystery, Murder Leaves Its Mark:

Sunday, October 23, 3-5 pm
Native Books/Nā Mea Hawai‘i, Ward Warehouse (phone: 596-8885)
This event will include a reading by the author and friends. Robyn Kneubuhl, of Maui’s beloved duo, The Hula Honeys, will perform music to transport the audience to 1930s Hawai‘i. Light refreshments and book-signing to follow.

Saturday, November 5, 2-4 pm
Daughters of Hawai‘i Book Day, Queen Emma Summer Palace, 2913 Pali Highway (phone: 595-6291)
Book Day event hours are 10 am-4 pm.

Saturday, November 12, 2-3 pm
Barnes & Noble-Kahala Mall (phone: 737-3323)

Monday, November 28, 6:30-7:30 pm
“Thinking Out Loud” radio show interview. Live broadcast from the KZOO-1240 AM Radio Studio in Shirokiya, Ala Moana Center (phone: 941-5966)
Please note: Currently, books are not expected to be available at this event.

The Living World of Ainu Shinyoshu

Ainu Spirits SingingIndigenous peoples throughout the globe are custodians of a unique, priceless, and increasingly imperiled legacy of oral lore. Among them the Ainu, a people native to northeastern Asia, stand out for the exceptional scope and richness of their oral performance traditions. Yet despite this cultural wealth, nothing has appeared in English on the subject in over thirty years. Sarah Strong’s Ainu Spirits Singing: The Living World of Chiri Yukie’s Ainu Shin’yoshu breaks this decades-long silence with a nuanced study and English translation of the Ainu Shin’yoshu, the first written transcription of Ainu oral narratives by an ethnic Ainu.

Ainu Spirits Singing is a unique fusion of geography and literature that offers a contextual grounding and engaging translation of Ainu oral stories passed down from ancient times. The author devotes several chapters to a detailed description and evocation of the physical and spiritual geography and cultural landscape that form the horizon of the tales themselves. The book, particularly helpful for readers unfamiliar with Ainu lore, offers a rich and nuanced reading of the tales.” —J. Scott Miller, Brigham Young University

October 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3512-5 / $58.00 (CLOTH)

Murder Leaves Its Mark / Murder Casts a Shadow – Special Sale

Murder Leaves Its MarkMurder Casts a ShadowNow through October 10, 2011, purchase Victoria Kneubuhl’s new Hawai‘i mystery Murder Leaves Its Mark online and receive the first book in the series, Murder Casts a Shadow, FREE.

Go to http:// to place your order. This special sale is online only; books ship as a set.

Advance praise for Murder Leaves Its Mark:

“[Mina Beckwith and Ned Manusia] return with another adventure in 1930s Hawaii. Journalist Mina and playwright Ned find themselves involved in the labor disputes resulting from attempts to organize the plantation workers on the islands. When Mina and Ned join family members at the Haleiwa Hotel for a luxurious weekend of horseback riding and beachcombing, they find themselves in the middle of a murder case. Mina’s brother-in-law, a police detective, asks her, her twin sister, Nyla, and Ned to help with the investigation. Suspects include a wealthy Chinese merchant who loves French cooking, a hot-headed labor organizer, a couple of wealthy businessmen, and the two enterprising Japanese daughters of the hotel owner. Mina and Nyla’s Hawaiian grandmother and her friend, a traditional native healer, make connections between the past and the present. The evolving relationship of Mina and Ned, the escapades of Ollie, a Portuguese water dog, keep the pages turning, while the island setting provides an atmospheric backdrop.” —Booklist

Oshiro Tatsuhiro’s The Cocktail Party

Oshiro TatsuhiroThe Cocktail Party, a play by Oshiro Tatsuhiro based on his Akutagawa Prize–winning book, will have its world premiere in Hawai‘i next month.

The first performance is on Wednesday, October 26, at 7 pm at the Hawai‘i Okinawa Center (in Waipio). Regular admission is $15; admission for seniors (65 or over) and students is $10. For ticket information, call 676-5400 or e-mail The second performance is on Thursday, October 27, at 7:30 pm at Orvis Auditorium (University of Hawai‘i–Mānoa campus). Admission is free. For ticket information, call 956-8246. Copies of Living Spirit: Literature and Resurgence in Okinawa and Voices from Okinawa will be available for purchase at $20 each at both performances. The Cocktail Party was published in Living Spirit, and Mr. Oshiro will be on hand to sign copies of the book.

The Orvis event will include a panel discussion of the humanities issues in the play. This portion of the project is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities with support from the “We the People” initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Mr. Oshiro will be participating, along with Frank Stewart and Katsunori Yamazato, the editors of Living Spirit.

This is the third in a series of events MANOA Journal has produced with the Manoa Readers/Theatre Ensemble and UHM Outreach College. Other sponsors include the UHM Center for Okinawan Studies, the University of Hawai‘i Japan Studies Endowment, the Manoa Foundation, and the UHM College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature. Cosponsor of the HOC performance is the Hawai‘i United Okinawan Association.

For information about Mr. Oshiro, Living Spirit, or Voices from Okinawa, please contact Frank Stewart at 956-3070 or write to See for further information.

Literature and Resurgence in Okinawa

Living SpiritThroughout its difficult history, Okinawa has remained strong, and today its spirit is more vibrant and dynamic than ever. Celebrating the cultural resurgence that began in the 1960s, Living Spirit: Literature and Resurgence in Okinawa, edited by Frank Stewart and Katsunori Yamazato, presents acclaimed contemporary fiction and poetry, as well as drama, song, and essay. Also included are Higa Yasuo’s remarkable photographs capturing the timeless world of the islands’ maternal deities.

Manoa 23:1
July 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3617-7 / $20.00 (PAPER)

Vietnamese American Literature in English

My VietTwentieth-century America reduced Vietnam to “’Nam”: the surreal site of a military nightmare. The early twenty-first century has seen the revision of this image to recognize the people and culture of Vietnam itself. Vietnamese Americans, both immigrants and the American children of immigrants, have participated in changing this perception, consistently presenting their side of the story in memoirs published since the 1960s. My Viet: Vietnamese American Literature in English, 1962-Present, edited by Michele Janette, is the first anthology to provide a comprehensive overview of these memoirs and the historical picture they offer and to include Vietnamese writing that goes beyond memoir, revealing a new generation of Vietnamese American poetry, fiction, and drama.

“This book brings together, for the first time ever, work that showcases the depth and breadth of Vietnamese diaspora writers in English. It provides a very valuable resource for teaching, as well as for study, and makes a major contribution to the fields of American literature, Asian American literature, Viet Nam war studies, ethnic studies and Southeast Asian area studies.” —Renny Christopher, California State University

July 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3550-7 / $25.00 (PAPER)

New in Writing Past Colonialism Series

Out of Bounds Out of Bounds: Anglo-Indian Literature and the Geography of Displacement, by Alan Johnson, focuses on the crucial role that conceptions of iconic colonial Indian spaces—jungles, cantonments, cities, hill stations, bazaars, clubs—played in the literary and social production of British India. Johnson illuminates the geographical, rhetorical, and ideological underpinnings of such depictions and, from this, argues that these spaces operated as powerful motifs in the acculturation of Anglo-India. He shows that the bicultural, intrinsically ambivalent outlook of Anglo-Indian writers is acutely sensitive to spatial motifs that, insofar as these condition the idea of home and homelessness, alternately support and subvert conventional colonial perspectives.

Writing Past Colonialism
March 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3521-7 / $28.00 (PAPER)

Manoa Journal Receives NEA Grant

UH Press journal Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing received a National Endowment for the Arts grant for the coming year. Manoa will use the highly competitive NEA $10,000 grant to support the publication of two forthcoming issues.

Published twice a year since 1989, Manoa has received national and international recognition for such issues as Voices from Okinawa (2009), Varua Tupu: New Writing from French Polynesia, (2005) and Century of the Tiger: One Hundred Years of Korean Culture in America (2002).

The Life and Times of Shimazaki Toson

The Kiso RoadWilliam E. Naff, the distinguished scholar of Japanese literature widely known and highly regarded for his eloquent translations of the writings of Shimazaki Toson (1872–1943), spent the last years of his life writing a full-length biography of Toson. Virtually completed at the time of his death, The Kiso Road: The Life and Times of Shimazaki Toson provides a rich and colorful account of this canonic novelist who, along with Natsume Soseki and Mori Ogai, formed the triumvirate of writers regarded as giants in Meiji Japan, all three of whom helped establish the parameters of modern Japanese literature. Professor Naff’s biography skillfully places Toson in the context of his times and discusses every aspect of his career and personal life, as well as introducing in detail a number of his important but as yet untranslated works.

The Kiso Road sets Toson’s long and eventful life in the context of its historical and cultural moment, providing a depth of coverage that cannot be matched by any of the existing English-language books on Toson. As Naff argues, Toson is simultaneously an extraordinary and an ordinary figure, and tracing through his career provides a useful window onto an entire era of Japanese history. This is an important and authoritative book, an original contribution, and the culmination of a life’s work.” —Michael Bourdaghs, University of Chicago

November 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3218-6 / $49.00 (CLOTH)

Also available: William Naff’s award-winning translation of Toson’s classic novel of Meiji Japan, Before the Dawn

Mediating History in Asian American Family Memoirs

Relative HistoriesRelative Histories: Mediating History in Asian American Family Memoirs, by Rocio G. Davis, focuses on the Asian American memoir that specifically recounts the story of at least three generations of the same family. This form of auto/biography concentrates as much on other members of one’s family as on oneself, generally collapses the boundaries conventionally established between biography and autobiography, and in many cases—as Davis proposes for the auto/biographies of ethnic writers—crosses the frontier into history, promoting collective memory. Davis centers on how Asian American family memoirs expand the limits and function of life writing by reclaiming history and promoting community cohesion. She argues that identity is shaped by not only the stories we have been told, but also the stories we tell, making these narratives important examples of the ways we remember our family’s past and tell our community’s story.

Relative Histories is original in several key ways: the emphasis upon very contemporary, under-explored narratives; the use of a wide range of critical approaches to the study of life writing; the blending of film and literature and the discussion of the use of photography. The study thus would not only make a new contribution to Asian American studies but would intervene in debates on life writing, film, literature, and photography in a more general manner.” —Helena Grice, Aberystwyth University

November 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3458-6 / $39.00 (CLOTH)

Select UH Press Titles Now on Kindle

UH Press is pleased to announce 9 of its titles are now available for Kindle readers. See below plus Kindle books by the “Beaches of Hawai‘i” series’ John R. K. Clark and Stuart M. Ball, Jr., author of our popular hiking guides.

The Value of Hawaii
The Value of Hawai‘i: Knowing the Past, Shaping the Future
edited by Craig Howes and Jonathan Kay Kamakawiwo‘ole Osorio
How did we get here? Three-and-a-half-day school weeks. Prisoners farmed out to the mainland. Tent camps for the migratory homeless. A blinkered dependence on tourism and the military for virtually all economic activity. The steady degradation of already degraded land. Contempt for anyone employed in education, health, and social service. An almost theological belief in the evil of taxes. At a time when new leaders will be elected, and new solutions need to be found, the contributors to The Value of Hawai‘i outline the causes of our current state and offer points of departure for a Hawai‘i-wide debate on our future.

Bright Triumphs from Dark Hours
Bright Triumphs From Dark Hours: Turning Adversity into Success
by David Heenan
Bright Triumphs From Dark Hours examines the lives of ten extraordinary people who overcame great adversity in their personal or professional lives by applying winning strategies that guided them out of the darkness of near-defeat and into the light of success.

“David Heenan’s fascinating stories of overcoming adversity make Bright Triumphs both a timely and inspiring read.” —Spencer Johnson, M.D., New York Times best-selling author of Who Moved My Cheese? and Peaks and Valleys

“This is an inspiring book. All of us, if we honestly look into our hearts, we know that there have been moments when we have failed. Failed ourselves, failed our family, and failed our communities. This book tells you that failure should not be the cause and reason for your demise.” —U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye

Melal: A Novel of the Pacific
by Robert Barclay

“An absorbing, original read.” —Honolulu Weekly

“A first novel that left me dazzled. . . . All the characters—the Marshallese, the members of their spirit world, and even the Americans—are well developed and deeply, sensitively drawn.” —Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing

“Barclay is a first-time novelist who simply got it right. . . . Melal is a powerful and at times heart-wrenching novel that should appeal to a wide range of readers interested in the region today.” —The Contemporary Pacific

“It is wonderful to have a novel of the Pacific, of people firmly rooted in the past and present of the great ocean, its atolls, islands, homes, and spiritual homelands. This is a wrenching story of people—voiceless, powerless—as they attempt to survive the horrors of nuclear testing, relocation, Western arrogance and domination. It is a good story with robust characters—some real and contemporary, others mythical and ancient—and an important book.” —Patricia Grace

“What separates this novel from others, even highly respected ones, is its extraordinary descriptive mastery. . . . This precise and vivid evocation of experience is what writing has been about from the beginning. In all respects, this is a superb book.” —Ian MacMillan