Winner of the Hawaiʻi Book Publishers Association Ka Palapala Poʻokela Award for Excellence in Literature.
Based on historical events, Anshu is a tale of passion and human triumph in the face of extraordinary adversity, spanning the cane fields of Hawaiʻi and the devastation in Hiroshima. A pregnant, unmarried Hilo teenager, Himiko Aoki, finds her Hawaiʻi Japanese American identity clashing with Japan's cultural norms when she is sent to live with relatives in Tokyo in 1941 and becomes trapped there with the outbreak of war. When America drops the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Himiko finds herself adapting in unexpected ways just to survive.
This publication was made possible with support from the Cooke Foundation, the Mayor's Office of Culture & the Arts (MOCA), the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA), and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Anshu is Juliet S. Kono’s first novel. Her previous publications include two books of poetry, Hilo Rains and Tsunami Years; a collaborative work of linked poems with three other poets, No Choice but to Follow; a short story collection, Ho‘olulu Park and the Pepsodent Smile; and a children’s book, The Bravest ‘Opihi. The recipient of several awards, including the US/Japan Friendship Commission Creative Artist Exchange Fellowship, she has been anthologized widely, most recently in the Imagine What It’s Like: A Literature and Medicine Anthology. In 2006, she won the Hawai‘i Award for Literature.
Born and raised in Hilo, Hawai‘i, she now lives in Honolulu with her husband and teaches composition and creative writing at Leeward Community College.