A Daughter’s Odyssey
About the Book
In BURMA BANYAN, A Daughter’s Odyssey, the reader is invited on an intimate set of travels as the author overcomes qualms about returning to Burma after a life span. Memories of Dawnie, her child self, besiege her. These memories are not set in the peaceful, civilized atmosphere of Dehra Dun, nestled in the hills north of Delhi, the setting of her notable first memoir–Jackals’ Wedding, A Memoir of a Childhood in British India–but in remote areas of northern Burma and in Mandalay, the capital of “Upper Burmah,” in an unstable atmosphere and generally unsafe surroundings. The Burma sojourn of the author’s immediate family following Japanese occupation during World War II begins with a replay of their last days in India, continuing the compelling true story within a family story. Counterpoint with modern-day travels, the author once again revisits a long-locked past to probe the truth of romanticized early life. She reveals how she and her sister coped with expectations and warnings and absorbed the fears and insecurity of their parents in the aftermath of war to compound their own secret worries, how they became adept at assessing their grownups’ mood swings, and chameleonic in adapting themselves accordingly. Entertaining stories of the generations before, ancestors who settled in India and Burma from faraway lands, flow naturally as the daughters’ parents, Pansy and William, return to live for a time in the country of their birth. Their resulting storm-and-sun relationship, the nucleus of the symbolic “jackals’ wedding,” continues as such in BURMA BANYAN. Kawahara’s odyssey, which completes in an unexpected way, also takes readers from Hawai`i to the British Isles, and forays to Australia and New Zealand in search of “lost” family members. The search for a missing father–and a home–is the taproot of these journeys.
About the Author
Dawn Fraser Kawahara, author of the compelling book Jackals’ Wedding, A Memoir of a Childhood in British India, now brings to her readers its sequel, her second memoir, Burma Banyan, A Daughter’s Odyssey, once again under the AuthorHouse/TropicBird Press imprint. A former photo journalist and freelancer, Kawahara was Poetin- the-Schools (Kaua`i), and from her studies of ancient hula in Ka `Imi Institute produced Behold Kaua`i, Modern Days ~ Ancient Ways, a collection of original poetry and Hawaiian cultural information, as a love chant to her adopted home island. She is a Board Member of Ka `Imi Institute and the current president; a recipient of the James Vaughan Poetry Prize; and a long-standing member of and prizewinning poet in the National Federation of Poetry Societies. She has led writing workshops and been a contest judge for the Columbine Poets of Colorado and was the creator/curator of the Garden Island Arts Council’s “April as National Poetry Month-Kaua`i Poetry Fests” for over a decade. She currently hosts and guides the monthly meetings of the Kaua`I Live Poets’ Society sponsored by the Lihu`e Branch of the Hawai`I State Library System, and contributes the “Green Flash” and “FarAway Places” editorial and travel columns published in The Garden Island newspaper. The author has focused her supportive interests within the Kaua`i community since the early 1980s. Kawahara was honored as an “Outstanding Older American-2019” by the Mayor and Council of the County of Kaua`i and the Governor and State Legislature of Hawai`i. She and her husband, a retired biology teacher, are blessed with six grown children and five grandchildren. They share a passion for books and travel. Kawahara’s books are available through Amazon and other outlets. To write to her, contact TropicBird Press, tropicbirdpress@ gmail.com