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Alan Chin

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  • Island Song (2008)
    According to the tenets of Buddhism, life is suffering, and suffering arises inexorably from desire. In my meditative novel, Island Song, the interplay between craving and pain creates the thematic backbone of this story in one man's journey from desire, to anguish, to a metamorphoses.

    Like most South-Sea romance stories, Island Song envelops all that is unique to Hawaii, the distinctive people, the fertile land, the mythical history. Yet it stands alone by the way it reveals a rare and dignified portrait of a gay couple struggling to satisfy love within an environment that rages against them.

    Two years after the death of his lover, Garrett Davidson finds himself sitting in a Hawaiian beach shack, gazing out over the vast, empty Pacific. He has nothing left. Despair has robbed him of his elegant home, his lucrative job and his sanity. The single thread holding him to reality is the story he has come to this shack to write: Marc's story, the story of his lost love. Then Songoree breezes into his life.

    Songoree, a Hawaiian surfer and Garrett's new cook, is not gay, but he can't help being captivated by Garrett. Songoree has always been attracted to broken things, like the crane with a broken wing he once mended and cared for. He is drawn to anything that reminds him of the broken image he has of himself. When Songoree attempts to heal Garrett's spirit they become entwined in an extraordinary relationship.

    The stakes are raised when Songoree's grandfather, a venerable Hawaiian kahuna, frees Garrett's mind from anguish by secretly using ancient shamanic methods to induce altered states of awareness.

    sDuring Garrett's convalescence, he and Songoree struggle to transcend their differences in age, race, and life experiences. They soon find that some islanders will stop at nothing to destroy their unique bond, while Songoree's grandfather is hell-bent on bringing them together to fulfill an ancient Polynesian prophesy. A clash of wills erupts between grandfather, grandson and hostile islanders, with Garrett caught in the middle fighting for his life -- driving the plot to an unexpected ending that will brutally test the boundaries of the human spirit.

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