Volcanoes, Palm Trees, and Privilege: Essays on Hawai‘i by Liz Prato
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.
Here's what others are saying:
". . . a rebuke to cultural appropriation, combined with tribute to a place [Prato] loves too much to make her own." --The New York Times Book Review, Summer Reads June 3, 2019
“…a complicated love letter to a place and powerful reckoning of a life.” - Cheryl Strayed, best-selling author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
“…a secular devotional to a place that has woven its way into Liz Prato’s heart. Breathtaking.” - Lidia Yuknavitch, author of the New York Times Notable Book, The Book of Joan
“Liz Prato’s fearless and tender investigation of our complex relationship with Hawai‘i will blow your mind.” - Karen Karbo, best-selling author of In Praise of Difficult Women
"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 moving memoir about familial loss and the reconstitution of an essential version of the self. Liz Prato is beautifully smart about how disempowerment works, and how to combat it." - Jim Shepard, author of The World to Come: Stories and Like You'd Understand, Anyway
"Liz Prato's Volcanoes, Palm Trees, and Privilege is the most readable and personal work of political ecology I know. I'd assign in a heartbeat, if I could just get back to the classroom." - Paul Robbins, PhD / Director, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison