Bird of Another Heaven
By James D. Houston
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780307388087, 352pp.)
Publication Date: April 8, 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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From the acclaimed author of Snow Mountain Passage comes this richly evocative novel that follows a half-Indian, half-Hawai'ian woman and her complex relationship with the last king of Hawai'i.
When talk show host Sheridan Brody finds the journals of his great grandmother Nani Keala (aka Nancy Callahan), he uncovers a mythic, unknown tale. Nani, a shy girl from a remote Indian village, met the Hawai'ian king, David Kalakaua, on his grand progress by train across the United States in 1881, eventually returning with him to Honolulu. There, as his young ally and protégée, ever more assured and charming, she played an integral role in his attempt to revive the monarchy and spirit of his people and, eventually, witnessed the mysterious circumstances surrounding his downfall. Deeply engaging through its vivid portrayal of California and Hawai'i at the end of the nineteenth century, Bird of Another Heaven is a masterful portrait of an era long past.
James D. Houston is the author of seven novels, including Continental Drift, Love Life, The Last Paradise—honored with a 1999 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation—and Snow Mountain Passage. His non-fiction works include Californians and Farewell to Manzanar, which he coauthored with his wife, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, he has received the Humanities Prize, an NEA writing grant, and a Rockefeller Foundation residency. He lives in Santa Cruz, CA.
“Fascinating. . . . Houston has given us the story of a lifetime.” —The Washington Post Book World“Poignant. . . . [Houston's subjects] have never been written about with more insight.” —The Oregonian“[Bird of Another Heaven], filled with real historical figures, richly reconceives the demise of the Hawaiian monarchy.” —Entertainment Weekly“Sweeping….a panoramic saga that spans two centuries.” —Sacramento Bee