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Hawaii (novel): Wikis


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1st edition cover
Author James A. Michener
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Fiction
Publisher Random House
Publication date 1959
Media type print
Pages 937pp.
ISBN 0394427971 / 0-394-42797-1

Hawaii is a novel by James Michener published in 1959. Written in episodic format like most of Michener's works, the book narrates the story of the original Hawaiians who sailed to the islands from Bora Bora, the early American missionaries and merchants, and the Chinese and Japanese immigrants who traveled to work and seek their fortunes in Hawaii. The story begins with the creation of the islands themselves at the dawn of time and ends in the mid-1950s. Each section explores the experiences of different groups of arrivals. The point-of-view changes with each chapter, although as the novel nears its end, these points-of-view change and coalesce rapidly culminating with the "Golden Man", who Michener describes as racially and culturally the result of the millennia of immigrants to the islands. The historical correctness of the novel is high, although the narrative about the early Polynesian inhabitants is based more on folklore than anthropological and archeological sources (Currently it is accepted that, while there was immigration from Bora Bora, Hawaii was first settled from the Marquesas Islands around AD 400—Nuku Hiva, mentioned in this section, is part of the Marquesas.)

Film, TV and theatrical adaptations

In 1966, the book was made into the film Hawaii, starring Max von Sydow and Julie Andrews. The movie focused only on the book's third chapter, "From the Farm of Bitterness", which covered the settlement of the island kingdom by its first American missionaries. (The movie's feel-good ending is not consistent with the content of the novel.) A 1970 sequel, The Hawaiians (starring Charlton Heston) covered subsequent chapters of the book, including the arrival of the Chinese and Japanese and the growth of the plantations.

Bibliographical information

  • The most recent paperback edition was released by Random House in 2002 with ISBN 0-375-76037-7.

External links



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