"The contemporary Hawaii of Kakimoto’s debut is neither idyllic backdrop nor tragic fable; the stories evoke the land and its intermixing cultures in all their anxiety, claustrophobia and restlessness . . . Weaving Hawaiian words into English ones, Kakimoto positions language as a tether to our most ancient and eternal selves . . . Every Drop Is a Man’s Nightmare is rich and wise, humming with confidence in the knowledge of a particular community’s lovely, miserable ways." - The New York Times Book Review
“As original and fearless a book as I've read in years.” ―Elizabeth McCracken, author of THE SOUVENIR MUSEUM
“Powerful coming-of-age stories that prove 'it is possible to be many things, all the time, all at once.'” ―Amy Hempel, author of THE COLLECTED STORIES and SING TO IT
“Kakimoto's debut throbs with searing talent.” ―Kali Fajardo-Anstine, author of WOMAN OF LIGHT and SABRINA & CORINA
“One of Hawai'i's most brilliant new voices.” ―Joseph Han, author of NUCLEAR FAMILY
Megan Kamalei Kakimoto’s wrenching and sensational debut story collection follows a cast of mixed native Hawaiian and Japanese women through a contemporary landscape thick with inherited wisdom and the ghosts of colonization. This is a Hawaiʻi where unruly sexuality and generational memory overflow the postcard image of paradise and the boundaries of the real, where the superstitions born of the islands take on the weight of truth.
A childhood encounter with a wild puaʻa (pig) on the haunted Pali highway portends one young woman’s fraught relationship with her pregnant body. An elderly widow begins seeing her deceased lover in a giant flower. A kanaka writer, mid-manuscript, feels her raw pages quaking and knocking in the briefcase.
Every Drop Is a Man’s Nightmare is both a fierce love letter to Hawaiian identity and mythology, and a searing dispatch from an occupied territory threatening to erupt with violent secrets.