Thursday, January 21, 2010
BTT: Favorite Unknown
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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.