A Novel of Hawai'i
by Kate Winter
In 1866, Samuel L. Clemens was "lost' on the island of Maui. The journalist who would become Mark Twain suddenly stopped sending his dispatches about Hawaiian business and politics back to California. His "Letters" resumed six weeks later without explanation.
What was he doing on Maui? And why did he want it kept secret? American Literature scholars have speculated and assumed there was a lost journal from that time. Kate Winter, a member of our parish, decided to write the lost journal and surround it with the adventure of the 21st century professor finding it.
In Kate's book, Lost Twain, Emily Witt, an English professor from Buffalo, New York is side-tracked in her research when a mysterious Hawaiian hands her the lost notebook Clemens kept during that escapade. In alternating narratives of Emily's journey and Clemen's missing weeks. This novel explores the lure of "going native" and our "civilized" resistance to it, with glimpses of how Hawaiians embrace outsiders - or don't.
How can Emily protect the Hawaiian family whose history is entwined with Clemens and still publish to find of her career? Is it exposure or exploitation? And how does love bind Witt and Twain to Hawai'i and its people?
Kate has lived and taught in Kona for over 18 years during and after a long career as a writer and professor of American Literature in New York State. Her love of Kona, Hawai'i Nei, its people and culture comes through in her depiction of the young scholar's experience of Hawai'i as well as the creation of Mark Twain's commentary on his "lost" time in Hawai'i.
The book is available at Kona Stores or on Amazon.com or from Kate herself (autographed with aloha)