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When a March vacation in 1986 offers an escape from one more brutal Minnesota winter, it turns into an unexpected calling. In a leap of faith, Ric d. Stark left his mainland home behind and moved to Hawai‘i, changing the course of his life forever.
In intimate and poignant stories of loving friendships, bizarre encounters with Hawaiian spirits, and the challenges of navigating an unfamiliar cultural landscape, Stark invites readers to join him on his journey to make Hawai‘i his “heart home.” Revealing his personal struggles to discover his identity as a gay man and his place in the Islands, Stark observes, “I often feel that I’m the one oddity that doesn’t quite belong. Not just the ‘belonging in Hawaiʻi’—it’s larger than that, and deeper too. A universal, human condition—don’t we all search our entire lives to find some communion with larger humanity? I answered with enthusiasm the deep, undeniable call of my spirit to live in this tropical home. Yet once here, I am forever just one more haole boy from the Midwest mainland.”
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Ric d. Stark is new to a post-retirement career in literary nonfiction. A graduate with a Bachelor of Physical Therapy from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, he has worked in Hawai‘i as a home health physical therapist for thirty-four years. He is an award-winning quilter specializing in the Hawaiian quilt technique with accolades from the American Quilter’s Society Annual Quilt Show and the Hawai‘i Quilt Guild. He is the current president of the Hawai‘i Quilt Guild. Stark lives in Ewa Beach, O‘ahu, with his dog, Heno.
Release Date: August 2021
Download the Hawaiʻi Calling media sheet here