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Local: A Memoir by Jessica Machado

Local: A Memoir by Jessica Machado

Regular price $16.99 Sale


From Little a:

Born and raised in Hawai'i by a father whose ancestors are indigenous to the land and a mother from the American South, Jessica Machado wrestles with what it means to be “local." She feels separate from the history and tenets of Hawaiian culture that have been buried under the continental imports of malls and MTV, often seeing her homeland reflected back to her from the tourist perspective—an uncomplicated paradise. Her existence, however, feels far from that ideal. Balancing her divorced parents, an ailing mother, and growing anxiety, Jessica rebels. She moves to Los Angeles, convinced she’ll leave her complicated family behind and define herself. Instead, her isolation only becomes more severe and her dying mother follows her to California. For Jessica, the only way to escape is a reckless downward spiral.

Interwoven with a rich and nuanced exploration of Hawaiian history and traditions, Local is a personal and moving narrative about family, grief, and reconnecting to the land she tried to leave behind.

“Machado’s narrative hums with raw emotion, as she writes of rejecting the idealized island girl stereotype, and as an adult, seeking a connection to her ancestors. Her depiction of Hawaii is far from the carefree paradise shaped by tourists and Western colonialism, and instead offers a sharp consideration of class distinctions and the islands’ history. The result is a luminous coming-of-age portrait.Publishers Weekly

“At long last, a book that shatters the colonial gaze too often cast on the Pacific; here, Jessica Machado brings the islands to life with incendiary dynamism and pitch-perfect prose. A mesmerizing portrait of a woman, her ‘ohana, and the ancestral knowledge deep within — I never wanted this to end. LOCAL is an unforgettable debut and a triumph for Kānaka and APIA literature.” —T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of the Fatherless Girls

“Machado is a ferociously talented writer who blends insight, compassion, history, and love into this breathtaking story of home, family, and belonging. This book is necessary reading for anyone who has ever wanted to understand Hawai'i, their families, or themselves.”—Lyz Lenz, author of Belabored

“A deeply moving memoir about navigating pain —.both personal and systemic — through the complex history of Hawai’i. By revealing her own story, she also reveals the stories of the Kanaka, and the result is both heartbreaking and uplifting.”Samhita Mukhopadhyay, author of the forthcoming The Myth of Making It