Before the City by Kirby Wright

Before the City by Kirby Wright
Being the editor of the Hawaii page at Bellaonline, I always search for topics that would be of interest to me, and hopefully to my readers as well.

Punahou Blues introduced me to author Kirby Wright. And after reading and thoroughly enjoying this wonderful novel, I actively sought out more of his work.

Finding Before the City was exciting, yet discovering that it was a book of prose and poetry was intimidating. I was hesitant to read, (and especially to review), this piece of work because, frankly, it’s honestly not my thing and I really would not know what I was talking about.

Now, almost more than anything, I hate to sound cliché, but once I started to read it I truly could not put it down. I kept on saying to myself, “just one more”, and discovered sadly some time later that I had reached the end. I kid you not. (And yes…I do have a life.)

This book is thoroughly enjoyable and I recommend it highly and personally.
From me to you.
Hopefully, that means something.

Now…about the book:

Before the City is a book of poetry and prose by Kirby Wright.
The themes of this work are based mostly in California and Hawaii. Upon reading the beautiful passages, it becomes obvious that Mr. Wright is a true being of the coast; his love and admiration for his geographical location is apparent.

The pieces are sensitive, witty, irreverent, and descriptive. They allow glimpses into his deep and thoughtful soul.

The details of the ocean, the beach, the people and of the visuals evoked are unparalleled.

In speaking of Hawaii, having been born and raised there, Mr. Wright has the ability to vividly portray his love for the islands and of its magnificence, and he is able to give the reader a real sense of being transported there. At the same time, he expresses and evokes empathy for the loss and exploitation of its history, its land and its people.

Kirby Wright has numerous awards for writing under his belt, and this particular work is the winner of the 2003 San Diego Book Award for Poetry. Well deserved!

For those of you that have wondered what Hawaii, a seemingly perfect and magical place, would ever be missing, or wondered what the reason would be for any sorrow, Before the City is an excellent tutorial into the true essence of what is and was important in Hawaii.

Reading this book is an enlightening experience. It helps one get a true sense of what is essential in life, how we all struggle, and how Hawaii, itself, is a part of the struggle for the people who truly care for her.

If you plan to travel to Hawaii, this book is a wonderful choice for your plane ride there. It will afford you the chance to understand where you are going – beyond the lights, fancy hotels and shops of Lahaina, Kona, or Waikiki.

For more information on this talented writer please visit:

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You Should Also Read:
Aloha Lili'uokalani from Before the City
Punahou Blues review

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