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Lost Twain: A Novel of Hawai'i Paperback – November 4, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (November 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432781804
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432781804
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Can't wait to read more of Winter's books!
Mo Posten
Its an easy read, yet there is an abundance of Hawaiian history and a supposed fictional account of an unpublished Mark Twain journal.
irishwoman
A compelling story with a beautiful finish ... Can't quite get "them", out of my head, that's the delicious part.
D Thatcher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bill-R on December 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What more could you possibly want in such a compelling, enjoyable work of historical fiction - Mark Twain, mysteries, Hawai'i of 1866 as magical then as it is now, love stories, contemporary characters who resonate (especially the central one of the present, the tenured young professor Emily whose story becomes as enticing as Twain's, and who has a reason for investigating those missing six weeks) - all in the hands of an accomplished scholar and nonfiction writer whose first novel makes me want to ask her, When will your next one come out?

The esteemed British historian Sir Steven Runciman was once asked if he ever had the yearning to write historical fiction, and he answered, "Oh, yes, so that I would be able to write what I know to be true, but cannot prove." And that is what Winter does here. How many of us knew that Twain "disappeared" for six weeks while on Hawai'i on assignment for a San Francisco newspaper? No records exist for what Twain was doing in those six weeks, or why he never referred to it. And yet, Winter's gripping, often poignant, sometimes mystical prose - her writing seems to be Hawai'i itself - convinces me that what happens to Twain in this novel is, well, true in my reader's heart.

And thankfully, Winter - the leading scholar on the 19th Century's "female Mark Twain," Marietta Holley - has captured what could easily be Twain's own voice, wit, point of view and, especially, his emotional and even soulful engagement with the powerful spirit of Hawai'i. What is especially pleasing about this strength of the book is that it is Twain in 1866, a believable glimpse at Samuel Clemens on the cusp of becoming the "Mark Twain" that so many generations have known and loved, indeed the Twain who is the quintessential American writer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By irishwoman on February 19, 2012
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This novel will appeal to you if you simply want to indulge is a good romance novel. The added bonus is you will also love it if you are a fan of Mark Twain, travel, a little mystery, Hawaiian culture & history, if you want to be transported to a tropical paradise or if you want to listen to the inner struggle of those big life questions of what is really important. All of the above applies for me so I just LOVED this book. Its an easy read, yet there is an abundance of Hawaiian history and a supposed fictional account of an unpublished Mark Twain journal. The journal prose sound so much like Twain, it makes we wonder did the author find that journal herself? Hmmmm. If not, she certainly writes like she knew him intimately.

The background research was intricate yet it was so well placed you probably won't realize until the end how much you have learned about the nuances of the Hawaiian culture and history, present day and yesteryear. The descriptive style of the author put a photo in my mind of each scene and each character. You may think this a fantasy and it may technically be fiction, but I suspect this account is more fact than either.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Interested Reader on December 18, 2011
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Mary-Helen's review of Lost Twain
One can feel proud to give this fine novel as gifts.
Kate Winters' courage to portray opinions in the voice of America's icon of wit proves her well prepared by a long career as a published Twain and Holley scholar. Her clear-sighted, straight talking observations are very much as Twain might have put them, incisive, unexpected, and very funny.
Like Twain she presents us with a challenge to many conventional wisdoms, these about Hawaiians: their brutal ancestry and bloody history, the politics of the sugar investors, and, "thanks to the missionaries, the Hawaiians are the most educated people on the planet, by the numbers." On the self-righteous politics surrounding leprosy, "Religion and education are not as sudden as massacre but more deadly to people in the long run."
In her narrator Winters reveals the pressures of academic life, a habitually over-focused "self-reflexive litany," comments on "the vigorous reconnaissance" of conventional dating conversation, vignettes of subtle social politics and power negotiations in the local Hawaiian subculture, the clear understanding of the anger of young Hawaiians, as well as an unexpected positive articulation of their future.
And she gives us sensual descriptions of the ease of "a snakeless paradise," and some enviable, highly related love scenes. We participate in the shift in her Twain character's authorial voice as he "felt the creep of gentleness and quiet on him," experienced the receptivity and paradoxical generosity of distance and privacy in Hawaiian relational style, the linguistic pauses allowing for a more cognizant entrance to the other.
Winters' conception and structure are intriguing, her syntax highly enjoyable, her subject compelling. This is a very good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Allen on December 22, 2011
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Lost Twain is a story of love and connection. The connection of people to their land, faith, family, future and past, all bound in love. The tale reminds the reader that it is the choices we make and the people we share our journey with that create and sustain who we are as individuals and communities. Her characters, past and present, real and imagined, are woven into a lei that wraps the reader in the spirit of aloha. If you've never been to Hawai'i this will compel you to go. If you have left, like both Twain and Witt, it make you yearn to return.
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