**Mariko's Staff Pick**
Author: Jeffrey Higa | Paperback
In the tradition of Gabriel García Márquez and Maxine Hong Kingston, and deeply rooted in the intricacies of the author's Japanese-Hawaiian heritage, Calabash Stories is a lucid, unforgettable collection. Jeffrey J. Higa's stories arise from different points in the same fertile landscape: At times, the recurrence of certain details (a beige Volkswagen bug, a famous entertainer) makes them glow with deeper meaning; at others, the reemergence of potent archetypes (a sick child, an old man living alone) invokes a dream state held between author and reader. Like the traditional Hawaiian calabash, these stories invite their reader to a family table where we are welcomed and nourished by communal traditions. Higa is a master storyteller, delighting in life's humor and strangeness while arriving at the intimacy and poignancy that come from a shared understanding of grief.