Elegant, brutal, and profound--this magnificent debut captures the grit and glory of modern Hawai'i with breathtaking force and accuracy.
“This Is Paradise, by Kristiana Kahakauwila, navigates an ocean of tension between tourists and islanders in paradisiacal, paradoxical Hawaii. Gritty, haunting, and suspenseful.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“[A] sparkling debut story collection . . . A writer with one foot in the native Hawaiian community and the other in the mainland mainstream gives us an edgy, unmistakably authentic glimpse of the harder side of island life. Kahakauwila captures in six related stories the striving lives, colorful pidgin dialect, and varied relationships that anchor and challenge her strikingly drawn characters.” —ELLE
"[T]his debut collection promises a tour of the real Hawaii. ... Ms. Kahakauwila illuminates racial and class tensions and the guilt of leaving home for the mainland." —New York Times
Vividly imagined, beautifully written, at times almost unbearably suspenseful-- the stories in Kristiana Kahakauwila's debut collection This Is Paradise are boldly inventive in their exploration of the tenuous nature of human relations. These are poignant stories of "paradise"-- Hawai'i-- with all that "paradise" entails of the transience of sensuous beauty. —Joyce Carol Oates