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Hope At SeaPossible Ecologies in Oceanic Literature$
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Teresa Shewry

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816691579

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816691579.001.0001

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In Search of Rain

In Search of Rain

Water, Hope, and the Everyday

(p.59) Chapter 2 In Search of Rain
Hope At Sea

Teresa Shewry

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines how writers from Hawai‘i associate hope with water. In Hawai‘i from the late nineteenth century onward, the agricultural industry diverted water from rivers and other sources to sugar plantations in particular. The recent collapse of the sugar industry fueled struggles for the restoration of water. Gary Pak’s short stories represent the return of water to places and peoples from which it was taken for sugar plantations, anticipating a promising, open future through engagement with the migratory spaces and temporal uncertainties of water. Poet Cathy Song provides a different perspective, writing about people who live and work on the plantations to which water was diverted. In exploring the gendered and racialized labor arrangements woven together with water in these sites and beyond, she recognizes alternative social practices and potentials in the everyday, mundane, and yet creative interactions between migrant workers and water.

Keywords:   Hawai‘i, water, agricultural industry, sugar plantations, restoration, Gary Pak, Cathy Song, racialized labor, migrant workers

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