Manoa, vol. 21, no. 2 (2009): Lucky Come Hawaii

Lucky Come Hawaii coverPresented by Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing

Lucky Come Hawaii: a novel of December 7, 1941, by Jon Shirota

For Kama Gusuda—the main character in Jon Shirota’s classic novel—the morning starts like any other on his Maui pig farm. By the time the sun has set, however, Japanese fighter planes have filled the skies over Pearl Harbor, bringing war to the Pacific and trouble to the lives of immigrants in Hawai‘i. The attack causes conflict among neighbors and within families, whose honor, loyalty and sense of tradition are tested as never before.

LUCKY COME HAWAII skillfully weaves together stories of lovers kept apart by their parents, an elder son faced with betraying his kin, and a wayward boy who struggles to have respect for his heritage. At the heart of LUCKY COME HAWAII is the moving story of an immigrant father and mother who strive to create a better future for their Hawai‘i-born children. For older readers, this ground-breaking novel of Hawai‘i at the beginning of World War II will evoke a time and place nearly forgotten. For younger readers, the novel will bring the experiences of Hawai‘i’s first Okinawans vividly to life.