A Kind Of Wrath
Sandra E. Drake
Sandra Drake's provocative A Kind of Wrath offers a new take on the mixed-race experience in the relationship between Paula Kajiyama and Will Cawdry, set in contemporary multiracial, multifaith, multilingual Hawai'i. Like Kiana Davenport's Shark Dialogues, Drake's novel challenges traditional assumptions about race and sexuality, and demonstrates the way colonialism, violence, power and hope powerfully impact the experience of people of mixed race today.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor
English Department and Director,
African & African American Studies
Author of Race, Work and Desire in American
Literature and The Souls of Mixed Folk
Hawai'i is a splendid setting for a tale about renewal, new beginnings for characters leaving behind their troubled past lives in a volcanic, yet verdant landscape that is always renewing itself. The historian in me also appreciated the author's skill in showing how relationships in our post-modern Obama age are often affected by our efforts to transcend class, race, and gender roles and expectations; yet deeper understanding and lasting love are only possible when we recognize how much we are shaped by these roles and expectations (even when we reject or run away from them). Those of us who have lived on the boundaries of socially-constructed identities often wish we could find a place like Euph's [Will Cawdry's night club, a community gathering place] but this novel reminds us that relationships always entail risks and uncertainties, even in paradise.
Clayborne Carson, Professor and Director
Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute
394 pages, $22.95
Fiction : General, Literary, Psychological