Megan Kamalei Kakimoto | Granta

Megan Kamalei Kakimoto

Megan Kamalei Kakimoto is a mixed-ethnicity writer of native Hawaiian and Japanese descent. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2015 and is a Fiction Fellow at the Michener Center for Writers, where she is one of Elizabeth McCracken’s mentees. Her work has been has been featured or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Boulevard, Conjunctions, Joyland, Southern Humanities Review and elsewhere. She also serves as an associate editor for Bat City Review. She has attended the Tin House Writers Workshop and her work has received support from The Rona Jaffe Foundation and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Workshop.


Every Drop Is a Man's Nightmare

Megan Kamalei Kakimoto

In Hawaii, a cast of women reckon with physical and emotional alienation, and the toll it takes on their psyches. A childhood encounter with a wild pua’a (boar) on the haunted Pali highway portends one woman’s increasingly fraught relationship with her body during pregnancy. A woman recalls an uncanny experience, in which Elvis impersonators take centre stage, to an acquaintance who doesn’t yet know just how intimately they’re connected. An elderly widow begins seeing her deceased lover in the giant corpse flower a mourner has gifted her.

Centering native Hawaiian identity, and how it unfolds in the lives, mind and bodies of kanaka women, the stories in Kakimoto’s debut collection are speculative and uncanny, exploring themes of queerness, colonization and desire. Both a fierce love letter to mixed native Hawaiian and Japanese women and a searing dispatch from an occupied territory simmering with tension, Every Drop is a Man’s Nightmare takes seriously the superstitions born of the islands. Kakimoto’s characters seek pleasure and purpose even in absurd circumstances, often with a surprising sense of humor, and her stories treat Hawai’i as so much more than a postcard from paradise.