Sharks in the Time of Saviours


Author: Kawai Strong Washburn

9781786896513 | PB | pp. 384 | 2021 | Canongate Books

Sharks in the Time of Saviours is a fascinating story about a boy who falls into the sea, is captured by a shark and returned unharmed and the aftermath of this miracle.

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At seven years old, Nainoa falls into the sea and a shark takes him in its jaws – only to return him, unharmed, to his parents. For the next thirty years Noa and his siblings struggle with life in the shadow of this miracle.

Sharks in the Time of Saviours is a brilliantly original and inventive novel, the sweeping story of a family living in poverty among the remnants of Hawai’i’s mythic past and the wreckage of the American dream.

Additional information


Kawai Strong Washburn







Year of Publication:



Canongate Books





Country of Origin:

United Kingdom

About the Author

The author was born and raised on the Hamakua coast of the Big Island of Hawai‘i. His work has appeared in McSweeney’s, Electric Literature and The Best American Nonrequired Reading, among others. He has received scholarships from the Tin House and Bread Loaf writer’s workshops and has worked in software and as a climate policy advocate. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and daughters. Sharks in the Time of Saviours is his first novel. It won the 2021 PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel.


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