Thursday, January 21, 2010

BTT: Favorite Unknown

Who’s your favorite author that other people are NOT reading? The one you want to evangelize for, the one you would run popularity campaigns for? The author that, so far as you’re concerned, everyone should be reading–but that nobody seems to have heard of. You know, not JK Rowling, not Jane Austen, not Hemingway–everybody’s heard of them. The author that you think should be that famous and can’t understand why they’re not…
Join this meme here.

In Hawaii, we have so many wonderful authors that just are not as well known outside of the islands. I have been blessed to meet so many of them, and they are strong advocates for our kids and for local literature in the schools. Ian MacMillan who passed away at the end of 2008  was a prolific writer, a willing mentor and an all-around kind spirit. He was a recipient of the Hawaii Award for Literature, the Elliott Cades Award for Literature, and numerous other prizes and distinctions. Ian passed away on 18 December after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. 

Some of my favorite reads from Ian:

The Seven Orchids about a crew of misfit women canoe paddlers who find each other on Moloka'i. They are dealing with depressison, divorce, alcoholism. . .but when they find an old koa canoe linked to a tragic love story, the women find new strength in dealing with their lives as well as a new purpose: to cross the Moloka'i channel in the koa canoe.

Village of a Million Spirits: a novel of the Treblinka Uprising is part of a trilogy about the Holocaust, but what makes this book so disturbing and profound is the way that he introduces a character only to lead him shortly afterwards to the door of a gas chamber. The technique kept me off balance and horrified, and yet I kept reading. 

Ullambana and other stories of Hawaii   From the lead story, in which a boy learns an important lesson in life from a prostitute, to the title story, a novella in which a young man does his best to comfort his mother and help her through her final days, these are stories about life in Hawaii.


Emma Michaels said...

great post. I hadn't heard about him before but now I will be sure to check him out.

jlshall said...

I always love finding new authors to get acquainted with! I'll be looking for his books.
Here's my answer.

Alayne said...

Excellent picks, mine is at The Crowded Leaf.

Cathy Ikeda said...

Emma, jlshall and Alayne,

Thanks for your encouragement. It got me thinking that I should do a book giveaway for him. Thank you and thanks for sharing your own author choices.



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