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I'm new to this group, and an avid traveler, mostly throughout Europe to this point, and hopefully a first trip to Asia before too long! My current plan, however: Hawaii. I don't know the first thing about it (never really been interested), but I'm headed there with friends for three weeks this winter (Kauai and Oahu), and now I'm intrigued: does anyone have any recommendations for a) essays about Hawaiian history, life and culture, b) travel guides, in particular for Kauai? What do people read in order to get a classic and fairly in-depth overview of Hawaiian cultural history? Thanks so much!
Anyone interested in Germany (esp. Berlin), or Iceland, please let me know! I might be able to help.
Anyway, it gives a good historical overview mixed in a bit of a soap opera.
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/6750 (the Sandwich Islands!)
For me, I can't manage to get my rump off Oahu...
I bought the book about 5 or 6 years ago and it's still not too hard to find. It begins about 1770 with an Yankee Ship Captain and the daughter of a Tahitian Chief.
The author does fine work, sweeping through about 150 years of turbulent Hawaiian history. Shark Dialogues is the first novel to tackle so much Hawaiian History.
Davenport does an excellent job with the island's rich heritage and of the cruel conflicts that shaped the Island chain.
The book includes a view through the eyes of a strong Matriarch and her four daughters seeking to find their place somewhere between the modern world and their strong Island Ancestors.
This is book to pick up for your collection. Davenport has written a fine contribution to the literature of the Pacific rim islands.
On the fiction side, I found Moloka'i interesting for its historical portrait of the former leprosy colony on the island of the same name.