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Volcano: A Memoir of Hawai'i Paperback – May 28, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Japanese American poet Hongo presents a memoir and family history centering around a return trip to his birthplace, a small Hawaiian village called Volcano.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Award-winning Japanese American poet Hongo tracks his roots back to Volcano, Hawai'i, where he was born.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (May 28, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679767487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679767480
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,686,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
This enormously moving book is presented more as a natural history of a land, Hawaii, when it really is a history of one man's soul. Touchingly self revealing, it shares the torment and the ecstasy of one person's search for meaning. I felt the natural history information, the eternal tree and the omnipresent volcano, were metaphors, not the meat of the book. I encourage readers on a personal path of understanding to take on VOLCANO as a guidebook of a singular journey - one that may resonate with many of us. It is wonderful
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Hongo's lyric language is the paradise in this gorgeous memoir about Hawai`i. He made me see Big Island as I know it to be-- and then he made me see beyond my own perception, to take in the familial and natural past of Volcano. A must-read for anyone heading to Big Island.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kirby Wright on November 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Hongo delights us with his poetic voice and I was expecting big things with this memoir. But doesn't a 'memoir' mean you've spent some meaningful time in a locale and are a bit of an expert on it? Hongo left Hawaii for California at a young age and knows little if anything about the history of the aina. His spiritual angle on looking at a leaf, stream, or hardened lava flow is somewhat interesting but the book lacks any meaningful punch because there is little or no characterization. I was expecting him to reconnect with people from his childhood but there are none. He is chasing ghosts from an invented past and the writing suffers for it.
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