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Sharks in the Time of Saviours


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About the Author

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.


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
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
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
Washburn's buzzy debut novel explores the shifting bonds of family and the inescapable pull of home * * New York Times, 13 Notable New Titles * *
Sharks in the Time of Saviours is a story of trauma passed down through the generations, of how poverty, grief, and broken dreams weave their way through the lives of one family. Yet it is a story told with joy, even humour, in lyrical, hypnotic prose that will stay with you long after you turn the last page -- TAHMIMA ANAM, author of THE BONES OF GRACE
Brilliant * * Financial Times * *
This daredevil debut will appeal to fans of A Little Life, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Life of Pi -- NetGalley
One of the most richly imagined and evocative debuts in recent memory . . . The writing is dazzling, captivating, all-seeing. The language is lyrical and lush and also muscular and gnarled . . . To say I found the novel to be impressive is an understatement. I was enthralled by the world captured in its pages and, once I turned the final page, found myself wanting more * * Los Angeles Review of Books * *
Imagine The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen imbued with Hawaiian mysticism, and you might get a sense of this searing sibling saga about a boy gifted with supernatural healing abilities - and the family who lives in his shadow * * Oprah Magazine, 30 Most Anticipated Books of 2020 * *
Kawai Strong Washburn has written the great Hawaiian novel. This is the story of a family that becomes the story of the islands. A place that most people don't know outside of glossy postcards and beachside vacations . . . A volcanic powerhouse of a debut -- BENJAMIN PERCY, author of RED MOON

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