Book's special gift the story of Kailua
By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Staff Writer
A long-promised book about Kailua, as told by its residents, is on the shelf, offering a unique perspective of that Windward town that links stories with geographical locations in the community.
The narratives in "Kailua" reach back into time, revealing experiences of people that shaped Kailua and reminding residents about its past.
"People will see Kailua differently after reading this book," said Maile Meyer, owner of Native Books, which specializes in supplying Hawaiian resources. "It's got a very personal hand to it because the people who talk in that book are intimately related to that place."
The book is divided into ili, the smaller land divisions of an ahupua'a, and the people from the ili are telling their stories, Meyer said.
Meyer praised book editor Barbara Pope for allowing the story tellers' voices to come through with careful editing that refrained from editorializing.
"To me — as a book person and I'm also from Kailua — the book has a special gift," she said. "We really get to know our home town, where we grew up."
Authors in the book include Jane Allen, Sally-Jo Bowman, Paul Brennan, John Culliney, Kahikina de Silva, Kihei de Silva, Diane C. Drigot, Deborah Dunn, Maya Saffery, Carol Silva, Frank Stewart and Brett Uprichard.
More than six years in the making, "Kailua" is illustrated with historic and current photographs, documents and maps. The photography team of Mark Hamasaki and Kapulani Landgraf provided the current photographs.
Sponsored by the Kailua Historical Society and funded by the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, the book will be launched Valentine's Day.
Meyer said no other book of this kind has been done in Hawai'i and — given all the people who were involved with it — it would be difficult to repeat the idea.