book cover of Sharks in the Time of Saviours
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Sharks in the Time of Saviours

(2020)
A novel by

 
 
Barnes & Noble Discover pick for March 2020
Amazon Editors’ Pick for March 2020



Sharks in the Time of Saviors is a groundbreaking debut novel that folds the legends of Hawaiian gods into an engrossing family saga; a story of exile and the pursuit of salvation from Kawai Strong Washburn.



“Old myths clash with new realities, love is in a ride or die with grief, faith rubs hard against magic, and comic flips with tragic so much they meld into something new. All told with daredevil lyricism to burn. A ferocious debut.”
—MARLON JAMES, author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf

So good it hurts and hurts to where it heals. It is revelatory and unputdownable. Washburn is an extraordinarily brilliant new talent.”
—TOMMY ORANGE, author of There There

In 1995 Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on a rare family vacation, seven-year-old Nainoa Flores falls overboard a cruise ship into the Pacific Ocean. When a shiver of sharks appears in the water, everyone fears for the worst. But instead, Noa is gingerly delivered to his mother in the jaws of a shark, marking his story as the stuff of legends.

Nainoa’s family, struggling amidst the collapse of the sugarcane industry, hails his rescue as a sign of favor from ancient Hawaiian gods—a belief that appears validated after he exhibits puzzling new abilities. But as time passes, this supposed divine favor begins to drive the family apart: Nainoa, working now as a paramedic on the streets of Portland, struggles to fathom the full measure of his expanding abilities; further north in Washington, his older brother Dean hurtles into the world of elite college athletics, obsessed with wealth and fame; while in California, risk-obsessed younger sister Kaui navigates an unforgiving academic workload in an attempt to forge her independence from the family’s legacy.

When supernatural events revisit the Flores family in Hawai’i—with tragic consequences—they are all forced to reckon with the bonds of family, the meaning of heritage, and the cost of survival.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Sharks in the Time of Saviours is a story of trauma passed down through the generations, of how poverty, grief, and broken dreams weave their way through the lives of one family. Yet it is a story told with joy, even humour, in lyrical, hypnotic prose that will stay with you long after you turn the last page." - Tahmima Anam

"The novel you never knew you were waiting for. Old myths clash with new realities, love is in a ride or die with grief, faith rubs hard against magic, and comic flips with tragic so much they meld into something new. All told with daredevil lyricism to burn. A ferocious debut." - Marlon James

"Sharks in the Time of Saviours is a brilliant novel and one of the most engaging and memorable books I've read this year. Sentences sparkle, the narrative voices remain distinctive and complete, and the deep notes of magic sound under the realism of poverty and loss. I didn't want it to end." - Sarah Moss

"Sharks in the Time of Saviours bursts with life. It is bright and beautifully noisy. It's so good it hurts and hurts to where it heals. It is revelatory and unputdownable. Washburn is an extraordinarily brilliant new talent. This family saga is shark tooth sharp. Its pages shoot off crackles and sparks, and you come out of it changed. It is sublime." - Tommy Orange

"Kawai Strong Washburn has written the great Hawaiian novel. This is the story of a family that becomes the story of the islands. A place that most people don't know outside of glossy postcards and beachside vacations . . . A volcanic powerhouse of a debut." - Benjamin Percy


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Used availability for Kawai Strong Washburn's Sharks in the Time of Saviours

Hardback Editions

September 2020 : USA Hardback

Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviors
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
ISBN: 1-4328-8260-0 / 978-1-4328-8260-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Wheeler Pub Inc
Availability: Amazon   


April 2020 : UK Hardback
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Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviours
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
ISBN: 1-78689-648-6 / 978-1-78689-648-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


March 2020 : USA Hardback
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Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
ISBN: 0-374-27208-5 / 978-0-374-27208-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: MCD
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


March 2020 : Canada Hardback
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Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviors
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
ISBN: 0-7710-9445-0 / 978-0-7710-9445-3 (Canada edition)
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Availability: Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

April 2021 : UK Paperback
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Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviours
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
ISBN: 1-78689-651-6 / 978-1-78689-651-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon UK   


March 2021 : USA Paperback
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Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
ISBN: 1-250-78731-9 / 978-1-250-78731-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 2020 : Paperback
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Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviours
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
ISBN: 0-369-33703-4 / 978-0-369-33703-0
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant
Availability: Amazon AU   


March 2020 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviours
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
ISBN: 1-78689-649-4 / 978-1-78689-649-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

April 2020 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviours
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon   


April 2020 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviours
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon UK   


March 2020 : Audio CD
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Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviours
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
ISBN: 0-655-65971-4 / 978-0-655-65971-6
Publisher: Bolinda/Penguin Audio Australia
Availability: Amazon AU   


March 2020 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviors
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
ISBN: 1-66447-843-4 / 978-1-66447-843-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc. and Blackstone Publishing
Availability: Amazon   


March 2020 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviors
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon   


March 2020 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviors
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


March 2020 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviours
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia Audio
Availability: Amazon   


March 2020 : Australia Audio edition
thumb

Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviours
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia Audio
Availability: Amazon AU   


Kindle Editions

April 2020 : UK Kindle edition
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Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviours
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon UK   


March 2020 : Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviors
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Availability: Amazon CA   


March 2020 : USA Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel
Author(s): Kawai Strong Washburn
Publisher: MCD
Availability: Amazon