Of Native Hawaiian and Anglo American descent, Kiana Davenport is the author of the bestselling novels Shark Dialogues and Song of the Exile. She has been a Bunting Fellow at Harvard, a Visiting Writer at Wesleyan University, and a Recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant. Her short stories have won numerous O. Henry Awards, Pushcart Prizes, and the Best American Short Story Award in 2000. She lives in New York City and Hawaii. From the Hardcover edition.
A family battles poverty, government indifference and each other in Davenport's rich third novel (Song of Exile). Ana's mother, the beautiful Anahola, fled the Hawaiian coastal town of Nanakuli, on Oahu, when Ana was still small for a new life on her own in San Francisco, leaving Ana to bring herself up in a house filled with wounded veteran uncles in an impoverished town riddled by drugs and teenage thugs. Determined not to become like her beloved but abused cousin, pregnant at 15 and stuck, Ana fights her way through college and medical school. Furious at her estranged mother, she nonetheless yearns for her, calling her California home just to hear her breathe. Leery of love and of the damaged men who populate her world, she finally opens her heart to Nikolai Volenko, a Russian filmmaker with a dangerous past, who's come to the Waianae coast to document the threat of a nearby weapons factory. When Niki is forced to return to Russia, Ana has to decide whether to accept her mother's help in finding the man she loves or retreat to the safety of the island she has never left. This is a lush, ambitious novel that delves deeply into familial conflict and forgiveness and offers a fascinating glimpse into the beauty and contradictions of native Hawaiian culture. Agent, Lane Zachary. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
While bandaging up the injured after a Hawaiian hurricane, physician Ana finds healing of a different sort with Russian documentary filmmaker Niki. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Adult/High School-Written as two stories that come together in a beautiful love story, this novel will appeal to teens on many levels. It follows the life of Ana, raised in Hawaii by a family that includes uncles demoralized by the Vietnam War and addicted to drugs and despair, and women burdened by poverty and child rearing. Determined to break the cycle, Ana manages college and medical school with a ferocity fueled by anger at the mother who left her and by the loving support of her extended family. Nikolai was orphaned as a small child and left to roam the streets of St. Petersburg when his mother died while camping out near the jail where her husband was held as a political prisoner. The young people meet dramatically during a hurricane in Hawaii, and Ana becomes impressed by Nikolai's work as a documentary filmmaker passionately dedicated to exposing the manmade ecological havoc in Russia and in Hawaii. Well-drawn characterizations of the two principals as well as Ana's colorful relatives will capture readers, as will the vivid descriptions of the stark, frozen Russian countryside, its once majestic cities, and the contrasting lush islands of Hawaii.-Jackie Gropman, Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Praise for Kiana Davenport's Song of the Exile
"Reading this novel is an overwhelming experience. . . . Davenport's prose is sharp and shining as a sword, yet her sense of poetry and love of nature permeate each line."
"Deeply moving . . . You can't read Kiana Davenport without being transformed."
"What separates [Song of the Exile] from its genre . . . is its intensity of feeling, its body of sensuous detail present on every one of its pages, and its dedication to a level of writing very few bestsellers possess."
"Song of the Exile transports the reader into an often-magical world by the power of its story. Its language is at times a song, and sometimes a cry in the dark. . . . Davenport's imagination and vision will haunt you for a long time."