Last week I was interviewed by Steven Mark of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, who wanted to do a story on A Chant of Love and Lamentation reaching the Finals in the ABNA contest. This morning I received a Google Alert telling me about 1 new result for “a chant of love and lamentation.” The article is up in the Sunday paper today. Here’s the link. You might need a subscription to view the whole article. I’ll see if I can post it after some time has passed.
I was interviewed by Steven Mark two times, both for about half an hour, and he asked very probing and insightful questions. The article discussed the competition, then provided a little background on my history with Hawai`i and my thoughts on the sovereignty movement. He had also asked about the process of writing the book, how it had changed, and where some of my ideas came from, and a few of my answers were included in his article. For example, when he asked why I had chosen to focus on so much conflict, I told him that I don’t think one could see change happen quickly without some extreme deprivation, and conflict is interesting and makes for a better read than slow political progress.
Steven Mark also mentioned my time as a cab driver and other local experiences that helped me flesh out characters. He ended by pointing out that I’m aware of the delicate nature of the topic, but that I wanted to tell the story.
It was exciting to see a mention in the paper! To this day I don’t know how “locals,” those of Hawaiian descent, sovereigntists, or any combination of the above will receive this novel. I have a fervent hope that they will see that violence is not glorified in “Chant” — in fact, the way real freedom is won is through the political process by smart and driven characters, and those who commit violent acts are shown as remorseful, cowardly, or damaged. I’m a firm believer in self-determination for kanaka maoli, and hope this novel resonates with readers.