Beginning with the fateful meeting of a nineteenth-century Yankee sailor and the runaway daughter of a Tahitian chief, and sweeping over a century and a half of passionate, turbulent Hawaiian history, Shark Dialogues takes its place as the first novel to do justice to the rich heritage and cruel conflicts of the beautiful and beleaguered islands and their people. Surreal, provocative, erotic, magical, meaningful, and supremely wise, it is a tale of islanders and invaders, of victors and victims, of queens and whores, of lepers and healers. And at its center are Pono, the magnificent pure-blooded matriarch and seer, and her four mixed-blood granddaughters seeking to come to terms with the contradictions of their ancestries and the hungers of their hearts. Their loves, their hates, the bonds joining them, and the furies possessing them are interwoven with ancient legends and lore of the islands whose past offers their salvation and whose future is their fate. Kiana Davenport has written a major contribution to the literature of the Pacific Rim—a great reading experience both brilliantly contemporary in its form and timeless in its illumination.
“A giant, image-fevered, luxuriant saga of a Hawaiian family… powerful, memorable, intoxicating.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Complex, resonant… handles the sweep of history and the nuance of the personal equally well… Sensuous.”—San Francisco Chronicle
Kiana Davenport was born and raised in Kalihi, Hawaii. Author of the critically acclaimed novel Shark Dialogues, she has been a Fiction Fellow at Radcliffe’s Bunting Institute and the recipient of a Fiction Grant from the National Endowment for the… More about Kiana Davenport