Heads by Harry


By Lois-Ann Yamanaka - 1999, 311 pages, hardback.

From the front cover flap -
Lois-Ann Yamanaka's last novel, Blu's Hanging, was hailed by People as "a touching tale of a family's disintegration in spite of their love for one another." In her boisterous new novel, she tells the story of the Yagyuu family, who live in Hilo above Heads by Harry, the family taxidermy shop. Every day a group of opinionated old futs from the neighborhood gathers outside Harry O.'s shop, where they discuss everyone in town (loudly) and drink beer and eat smoked meat into the pau hana hours.

Back home, things aren't quite as simple. Toni Yagyuu, the middle child, wanders through life in the shadow of her flamboyant big brohter, Sheldon, who prefers the name Shelly and whose penchant for cosmetology causes Harry O. much consternation. The younger sister, Bunny, is a provacative beauty and a budding diva. At the heart of their rivalry is a small-town catch extraordinaire, Maverick Santos, football star and pig hunter for Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.

Enamored of Billy Harper, a hapa haole who loves her from afar, Toni must choose between college life, the strange beauty of taxidermy, the gore of the hunt, and her visceral attraction to Maverick's older brother, Wyatt, a swaggering thug who may be far more tender than he appears. Graphic, compassionate, and brutally funny, Heads by Harry completes Yamanaka's haunting and memorable trilogy on growing up in Hawai'i.

ORDER -- Item #2746, Price $24.00

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