Puns in Print for Summer 2023

Puns in Print
Several Punahou alumni and faculty have published books in the past two years that span a variety of genres and subjects. Here’s a roundup of some of their work.

John M. Corboy ’56

“Life and Times of Little Johnny Corboy: Volume 1”

A Midwestern haole boy aboard a troopship following a zigzagging submarine escort, arrives in Honolulu under martial law. He learns to walk barefoot and speak Hawaiian Pidgin English. He enters second grade during decommissioning of the Punahou Military Base, with prisoners of war removing barbed wire from the night-blooming cereus. He describes a remarkable Punahou primary education, young loves and theatrical activities. Mischievous events lead to his suspension and transfer to St. Louis School. There he wins speech and essay awards, then becomes a teen radio DJ. It’s a story of historical contrasts and lessons learned – a childhood of a simpler time in postwar Honolulu.

Susanna Moore ’63

“The Lost Wife”

This book brings to life a devastating Native American revolt and the woman caught in the middle of the conflict which unfolds during a seminal and shameful moment in America’s conquest of the West. In the summer of 1855, Sarah Brinton abandons her husband and child to make the long and difficult journey from Rhode Island to Minnesota Territory, where she plans to reunite with a childhood friend. When she arrives at a small frontier post on the edge of the prairie without family or friends and with no prospect of work or money, she quickly remarries and has two children. Anticipating unease and hardship at the Indian Agency, where her husband Dr. John Brinton is the new resident physician, Sarah instead finds acceptance and kinship among the Sioux women at a nearby reservation.

Mindy Pennybacker ’70 Wallace

“Surfing Sisterhood Hawai‘i”

In Hawai‘i, its birthplace, surfing is being renewed by a surge of female power and creativity as wāhine reclaim the sport wherein they traditionally held equal rights with men. In “Surfing Sisterhood Hawai‘i,” Honolulu native Mindy Pennybacker, a columnist for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, brings wave riding to life, blending Hawaiian legends, historical accounts and interviews with more than 30 contemporary female surfers of all ages and abilities.

Tiffani Bova ’84

The Experience Mindset: Changing the Way You Think About Growth

Based on exclusive research from two Salesforce-sponsored studies of thousands of employees and C-suite executives, “The Experience Mindset” details exactly how your company can adopt an Experience Mindset, at scale. It’s not enough to know that happy employees equal happy customers. You must have an intentional, balanced approach to company strategy that involves all stakeholders, including IT, Marketing, Sales, Operations and HR, with key performance indicators and ownership over outcomes.

Windy Chien ’85

The Year of Knots: Modern Projects, Inspiration, and Creative Reinvention

Every day for a year, artist Windy Chien learned to tie a new kind of knot and then shared the results on Instagram – revolutionizing knot art and reinventing her life and career in the process. In “The Year of Knots,” Chien describes how her knot-making project led her on a path of discovery. The book combines projects, tutorials and transformative personal stories, all aimed at inspiring readers to make knotting – and creativity in general – part of a meditative daily practice.

Allegra Goodman ’85

Sam: A Novel

Sam is 7 years old and living in Massachusetts. She adores her father, though he isn’t around much. Her mother struggles to make ends meet, and never fails to remind Sam that if she studies hard and acts responsibly, adulthood will be easier – more secure and comfortable. But comfort and security are of little interest to Sam. She doesn’t fit in at school. All she wants is to climb. Hanging from the highest limbs of the tallest trees, scaling the side of a building, Sam feels free. As a teenager, Sam begins to doubt herself. She yearns to be noticed, even as she wants to disappear. When her climbing coach takes an interest in her, his attention is more complicated than she anticipated.

Brian DeMare ’92

Tiger, Tyrant, Bandit, Businessman: Echoes of Counterrevolution from New China

The rural county of Poyang, lying in northern Jiangxi Province, goes largely unmentioned in the annals of modern Chinese history. Yet records from the Public Security Bureau archive hold a treasure trove of data on the everyday interactions between locals and the law. Drawing on these largely overlooked resources, “Tiger, Tyrant, Bandit, Businessman” follows four criminal cases that together uniquely illuminate the dawning years of the People’s Republic.

Meleana Blaich ’97 Estes with Jennifer Fiedler ’97 

Lei Aloha: Celebrating the Vibrant Flowers and Lei of Hawai‘i

Brimming with vibrant photos of the most famous flower garlands of Hawai‘i – the lei – in dreamy island settings, “Lei Aloha” tells the story of the flowers, craftsmanship and community of lei culture, offering a window into this beautiful world where life is a little slower, flowers are abundant and personal connections run deep. 

Elizabeth Nguyen ’98

“Aloha Vietnam”

Anh Nguyen is 17 years old and a senior in high school working on a watercolor art series when she experiences her first manic episode. She is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, put on medications, and she and her Vietnamese American family are suddenly thrown into the world of mental health. Anh’s mother, Xuan, grapples with understanding her daughter’s struggles, while also making sense of her own loss and grief of leaving behind her family and motherland of Vietnam. On the warm shores of Honolulu, Hawai‘i, Anh navigates growing up in a refugee family in a new land and culture and dealing with the struggles of her own mind.

Gabrielle Ahuli‘i Ferreira Holt ’08

“Hi‘iaka and Pana‘ewa: A Hawaiian Graphic Legend” 

Hi‘iaka wants to make the forests of Hawai‘i safe for travelers. But she’ll have to battle an evil lizard named Pana‘ewa and his army to do it. With a little help from her sister and some special powers, she’s ready for a great battle. 

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