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Behold the Many

A Novel

Lois-Ann Yamanaka

Picador

Shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize
 
Lois-Ann Yamanaka has been hailed as "the freshest, most dynamic literary voice to come from Hawaii in recent years" (Somini Sengupta, The New York Times), and as "one of the most original voices on the American literary scene" (Jamie James, The Atlantic Monthly). In her novel, Behold the Many, Yamanaka tells the eerily beautiful story of three sisters and the captivating world they create out of their suffering.
 
In 1913, stricken by tuberculosis, young Anah, Aki, and Leah are sent away from their family for treatment at St. Joseph's, an orphanage in Hawaii's Kalihi Valley. Of the three, two will die there, in spite of the nuns' best efforts to save them, and only Anah, the eldest, will grow to adulthood. But the ghosts of the dead sisters are afraid to leave the grounds of St. Joseph's, where they wait until they can return home. As Anah prepares to begin married life away from the orphanage, they haunt her. Desperate for the love of their sister, who has communicated with them since childhood, jealous of her ability to live in the physical world, and terrified of losing her, they are determined to thwart Anah's happiness. One of them places a curse on her that will reverberate through the course of her future and that of her new family. While Anah struggles to appease the dead and to quiet her own guilt for having survived, it becomes apparent that only through one of her daughters can redemption be attained.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Behold the Many
Kalihi Valley1939The valley is a woman lying on her back, legs spread wide, her geography wet by a constant rain. Waterfalls wash the days and nights of winter storms into the river that empties into the froth of the sea.In the valley, the rain is a gossamer cloth, a tempest of water and leaves. The rain is southerly with strange foreboding. The rain is northerly with cool rime.The rain glistens on maiden fern, the wind rustling the laua'e, the palapalai touching her there where it is always wet and seamy.The valley is a woman with the features of a face, a woman whose eyes watch
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REVIEWS

Praise for Behold the Many

"A mystical, magical, and, at times, macabre world unfolds in Lois-Ann Yamanaka's elegiac tale of three sisters. . . . A chillingly spectral portrait of souls tormented by love and guilt."--Booklist
 
"A novel with impressive scope and emotional power . . . One's words can heal, one's words can hurt. In Yamanka's vivid novel Behold the Many, her words do both, breaking our hearts and nursing them back to wholeness with the balm of her prose."--The Washington Post
 
"Tender, poignant, and written in unadorned prose, this is a book to savor."--Library Journal
 
"In this superb seventh novel from Yamanaka, the ghosts of children curse the living, and a young woman finds salvation in early 20th-century Hawai'i. . . . Beautifully tragic, this should garner Yamanka the wider attention she deserves."--Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

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Behold the Many

A Novel

Lois-Ann Yamanaka

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Picador

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