New Star Blogs

The story of Salt Spring’s Hawai’ian matriarch back on shelves


We’re pleased to announce a new edi­tion of Maria Mahoi of the Islands, Jean Bar­man’s 2002 instant-clas­sic con­cern­ing the mys­tery-shroud­ed life of one of our province’s impor­tant clan moth­ers.

Born in the mid-1850s to a Hawai’ian father and a First Nations moth­er, Maria Mahoi died in 1936 on Rus­sell Island near Salt Spring, hav­ing raised thir­teen chil­dren and leav­ing behind scores of descen­dants, includ­ing a future provin­cial cab­i­net min­is­ter.

Jean Bar­man is a good sto­ry­teller  .. . When she address­es issues of race and racial­iza­tion, her insight into the expe­ri­ence is sur­pris­ing­ly accu­rate for a mono­ra­cial woman. Bar­man does not the­o­rize the racist assump­tions under­min­ing the den­i­gra­tion of non­white sto­ries but rather par­tic­i­pates in a counter-hege­mon­ic project seek­ing to add new nar­ra­tives of the racial­ly hybrid nation.”  — Michelle La Flamme, BC Stud­ies

Updat­ed and with some new pho­tos, Maria Mahoi of the Islands is on sale from Tanner’s Books, UBC Cen­tral and all the fin­er brick and mor­tar book­stores in British Colum­bia, and cer­tain­ly from the People’s Co-op Book­store on Com­mer­cial Dri­ve, to say noth­ing of the real Ama­zon.