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Sunday, December 12, 2004



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Isle pages

Releases from Hawaii authors


"Monsoon Madness"
by Gae Rusk
(Granville Island,

$14.95)

Hawaii film producer and online fiction writer Rusk knocked out the first draft of this "women's" novelette some years ago in Kathmandu, and the sense of place is very real. It concerns a woman soaking up Nepalese culture who suddenly embarks on a dangerous and emotionally challenging trek.

"Cookie Lily"
by Mary Troy
(Southern Methodist University, $22.50)

This selection of stories by former UH researcher Troy takes place in the messy, angry crossroads of culture that is modern Hawaii. Troy kept her eyes and ears open for the telling nuances, and any piece here ought to tempt a budding Kumu Kahua playwright.

"Laos - Caught in the Web, the Vietnam War Years"
by Judy Austin Rantala
(Anoai and Orchid, $18)

Rantala and her husband were USAID workers with stars in their eyes when they settled in a quiet, tiny Lao village in 1971. They became friends with a Laotian family, and as the swirling chaos of war spilled over from Vietnam, they witnessed the country they loved dissolve before their eyes. Rantala's memoir - begun as a kind of self-therapy after her husband died - is told with aching sympathy for the people of Laos and clear insight about hammer and anvil of war, and joins the must-reads about that fading corner of history.

"The Little Book of Choices"
by Sharon Carter
(Island Heritage, $8.99)

What do cats think of humans and the weird things we do? This way-cute meditation with bright illustrations will appeal mostly to cat fanciers.



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