Synopses & Reviews
Volcanoes, Palm Trees And Privilege: Essays on Hawai'i by Liz Prato explores what it means to be a white tourist in a seemingly paradisiacal land that has been formed, and largely destroyed, by white outsiders. Hawaiian history, pop culture, and contemporary affairs are woven with personal narrative in fifteen essays that examine how the touristic ideal of Hawai'i came to be, and what it "is," at its core. The book is a highly readable hybrid of the in-depth exploration of narrative journalism combined with the through-line of memoir. With a voice that is both conversational and confident, Prato examines her multi-layered relationship with Hawai'i and her soul connection with this group of islands creating a collection of essays that masterfully blends both cultural and personal histories through the lens of loss and survival.
"Searching, wise, intimate and illuminating, Liz Prato’s Volcanoes, Palm Trees & Privilege is a complicated love letter to a place and a powerful reckoning of a life. I was moved by this beautiful book and enlightened, riveted and astonished." Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things
"For fans of Sarah Vowell and Kaui Hart Hemmings, Liz Prato's essay collection is a must-read that explores the islands' mythos and reality. In Volcanoes, Palm Trees, and Privilege we witness a deeply personal tale of love, loss, and honest accounting as the author comes to understand her relationship with the islands through the crucible of family." Kristiana Kahakauwila, author of This Is Paradise
"A brilliant meditation on cheeseburgers in paradise, Liz Prato's fearless and tender investigation of our complex relationship with Hawai‘i will blow your mind. Hula dancers, aloha shirts, surfing, and the idyllic tropical vacation will never look the same." Karen Karbo, author of In Praise of Difficult Women, and the Kick Ass Women series
"This book is a love letter to the land and people of Hawai‘i, a secular devotional to a place that has woven its way into Liz Prato’s heart. Breathtaking." Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water and The Book of Joan
About the Author
Liz Prato is also the author of the short story collection Baby’s on Fire: Stories published in 2015 (Press 53). Her work has appeared in over two dozen literary journals, including The Rumpus, Baltimore Review, and Salon. She is Editor at Large for Forest Avenue Press. Liz teaches in Portland and at literary festivals across the country. She lives in a house in the woods with her husband, an indie bookseller and writer.
Liz Prato on PowellsBooks.Blog
I woke early on our first morning on Kaua‘i. Early, because I always have a hard time sleeping my first night in any new bed, and early because my body was two hours ahead, on Portland time. I started a pot of Kona coffee and opened the curtains to the lanai. In Portland, the sun had already risen...