Melal: A Novel of the Pacific
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280pp. June 2002
Melal: A Novel of the Pacific
Author: Barclay, Robert;
Winner, 2003 Ka Palapala Pookela Award for Excellence in Writing Literature

On Good Friday, 1981, Rujen Keju and his two sons come face to face with their complicated inheritance--one that includes years of atomic testing and the continued military presence of the U.S. in the Pacific. In this highly original work of history and adventure, novelist Robert Barclay weaves together characters and stories from mythological times with those of the present-day to give readers a rare and unsparing look at life in the contemporary Pacific.
"An absorbing, original read" --Honolulu Weekly, 20 November 2002

"A first novel that left me dazzled ... All the characters--the Marshallese, the members of their spirit world, and even the Americans--are well developed and deeply, sensitively drawn" --Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing 15 (2003)

"Barclay is a first-time novelist who simply got it right.... Melal is a powerful and at times heart-wrenching novel that should appeal to a wide range of readers interested in the region today." --The Contemporary Pacific, Spring 2004 (Download full review)

"It is wonderful to have a novel of the Pacific, of people firmly rooted in the past and present of the great ocean, its atolls, islands, homes, and spiritual homelands. This is a wrenching story of people--voiceless, powerless--as they attempt to survive the horrors of nuclear testing, relocation, Western arrogance and domination. It is a good story with robust characters-some real and contemporary, others mythical and ancient--and an important book." --Patricia Grace, author of Dogside Story

"What separates this novel from others, even highly respected ones, is its extraordinary descriptive mastery.... This precise and vivid evocation of experience is what writing has been about from the beginning. In all respects, this is a superb book." --Ian MacMillan, author of Village of a Million Spirits

Author: Barclay, Robert;
Robert Barclay spent much of his life in Kwajalein. He now lives in Honolulu. This is his first book.
Download and view "Home" (39K PDF).
Part One Fallout Demonic

Home

Going Fishing

Another Dimension

The Value of a Seat

The Beginning

The Frigate Bird

Having Fun

The Growl

The Boys

Contact

Part Two Suicide Messiahs

Lâmoran

See What Can Happen

The Pair of Dolphins

Smoke

The Breadfruit Tree

Lunch Time

A Real Good Feeling

Good Friday

A Feast

The Ocean

The Matter Is Very Involved

Part Three Long Dark Night of the Souls

The Pair of Demons

Showdown at the Sewage Plant

Shark Clan

Sanctuary

One Down

Rujen and the Demons

The Ekjab

Ebeye Nightlife

What Came Up from the Mouth of the Mermaid

The Kind of Fish You Keep

Trespassing

War

The Scream

Bull’s-Eye




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