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.