MEĻAĻ by Robert Barclay

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. A selection of the Barnes & Nobles Discover Great New Writers program.

An absorbing, original read.

- Honolulu Weekly


Winner, 2003 Ka Palapala Po‘okela Award for Excellence in Writing Literature

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

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

“Skillfully crafted; harsh and yet encouraging at the same time.”Wanda Adams, The Honolulu Advertiser

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About the Author:
Robert Barclay, a twenty-year resident of Hawai‘i, was raised on the island of Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands. He currently teaches English at Windward Community College and lives in Kāne‘ohe with his wife and two children. For more information about Robert Barclay, click here.

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