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Sharks in the Time of Saviours

by Kawai Strong Washburn

Book Club Recommendations Debuts Family Drama Literary Fiction Modern and Contemporary Fiction Sharing Diverse Voices

Sharks in the Time of Saviours Synopsis

At seven years old, Nainoa falls into the sea and a shark takes him in its jaws - only to return him, unharmed, to his parents. For the next thirty years Noa and his siblings struggle with life in the shadow of this miracle.

Sharks in the Time of Saviours is a brilliantly original and inventive novel, the sweeping story of a family living in poverty among the remnants of Hawai'i's mythic past and the wreckage of the American dream.

Sharks in the Time of Saviours Press Reviews

Mixes hardscrabble Hawaiian reality with flights of wonder and the supernatural in a way that is wholly original - Vanity Fair

A beautifully written debut novel - Vogue

Epic in scope, it throbs with magic realism and urban misery . . . [Written with] style and swagger . . . Told with such loquacious vigour that the reader is swept along, utterly rapt. It marks Washburn out as a writer with talent to burn - i

Radiant . . . Immediately grips you in its jaws, plunges you into Hawaiian waters, and finally releases you, breathless and changed . . . There's something bewitching, too, in Washburn's prose - the furious, lively spell of it - O, The Oprah Magazine

[Hawai'i's] ancient history and lush natural beauty pulses through the book. Washburn is an assured and agile stylist, creating a unique and urgent voice for each member of the family . . . An electrifying, heart-wrenching exploration of how life, hope and goodness persist in the aftermath of loss - Daily Mail

Adjusted my understanding of the world . . . Beautifully written and completely absorbing -- Sarah Moss - Guardian

Sharks in the Time of Saviours bursts with life. It is bright and beautifully noisy. It's so good it hurts and hurts to where it heals. It is revelatory and unputdownable. Washburn is an extraordinarily brilliant new talent. This family saga is shark tooth sharp. Its pages shoot off crackles and sparks, and you come out of it changed. It is sublime -- TOMMY ORANGE, author of THERE, THERE

As vivid as it is splendid . . . This may be his debut, but he proves himself an old hand at dissecting the ways in which places - our connections to them, our disconnections from them - break us and remake us . . . With prose that can be breathy and sweaty in one paragraph before gliding softly and tenderly into the next, this passionate writer cries out for us to see Hawaii in its totality: as a place of proud ancestors and gods and spirits, but also of crumbling families and hopelessness and poverty. Of mystery and beauty at every corner -- IMBOLO MBUE -New York Times

Sharks in the Time of Saviours is a brilliant novel and one of the most engaging and memorable books I've read this year. Sentences sparkle, the narrative voices remain distinctive and complete, and the deep notes of magic sound under the realism of poverty and loss. I didn't want it to end -- SARAH MOSS

The novel you never knew you were waiting for. Old myths clash with new realities, love is in a ride or die with grief, faith rubs hard against magic, and comic flips with tragic so much they meld into something new. All told with daredevil lyricism to burn. A ferocious debut -- MARLON JAMES

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781786896513
Publication date: 01/04/2021
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781786896483
Publication date: 02/04/2020
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781786896513
Publication date: 1st April 2021
Author: Kawai Strong Washburn
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 384 pages
Genres: Book Club Recommendations, Debuts, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Diverse Voices,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Kawai Strong Washburn

Kawai Strong Washburn was born and raised on the Hamakua coast of the Big Island of Hawai'i. His work has appeared in McSweeney's, Electric Literature and The Best American Nonrequired Reading, among others. He has received scholarships from the Tin House and Bread Loaf writer's workshops and has worked in software and as a climate policy advocate. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and daughters. Sharks in the Time of Saviours is his first novel.

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