San Francisco Chronicle House of Thieves is listed by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the best books of 2005
San Francisco Chronicle Our Editors Recommend
San Francisco Chronicle Books of the Summer "The Big Guns are Coming"
The Tampa Tribune
"… Hemmings' prose is so impossibly effortless, her subtle wit so winning and her characters so endlessly engaging, you could damn near call it a page-turner. Like mai tais at a luau, as soon as you finish one story, you're ready for the next."
The New York Times
"Hemmings... skillfully captures the way the lush scenery is most often a mere backdrop to ordinary lives."
"Hemmings' stories are confident, the writing alert to style and details that are there for a reason. Writing what you know, what's as real to you as the whorls on your fingertips, is one essential element of good writing. Hemmings writes exactly what she knows. And if art is about trying to make something as real as what we see around us, she artfully does just that."
"House of Thieves can be as exhilirating and as treacherous as Oahu's notorious Pipeline."
Time Out New York
“Her sense of structure and pacing are elegant and well honed. Even more impressive is how adroitly the author resolves her endings, her protagonists coming to terms with their dilemmas in their own transformative way.”
The Anniston Star
“…(a) miraculous and moving collection.”
The Brooklyn Rail
"Beautifully crafted, wonderfully entertaining, and highly evocative, the collection showcases an audacious talent. In a phrase, it’s a great read."
The Chicago Tribune
"If Hemmings' debut says anything about her future, it will be anything but ordinary."
"Hemmigs offers tales of angst and triumph set against the background of the rugged Hawaiian islands..."
"While fiction-trendy to write about the forgotton people, Hemmings (gives) airtime to those who own the ariwaves."
East Bay Express
"...her spare, often witty style...lets us recognize our own moments of coming to see the world."
The Honolulu Advertiser
"...an impressive beginning, complete with touching intimacy, sparse description and an authentic, palpable atmosphere."
Library Journal, Starred Review
"The nine stories are startlingly precise in their unsentimental representation of the ways that people torment and sustain one another."
Kikus reviews, Starred Review
"The undertow of these dark and seductive tales is irresistable."
"With a dynamic and imaginative voice, Hemmings infuses her stories with keen insight, and lavishes her characters with profound empathy."
"...these are fresh, acerbic tales, offering a distinctive perspective on everyday life in a vacation paradise."
The title of Kaui Hart Hemmings' intriguing collection of short stories is the translation of the Hawaiian town of Haleiwa. The twelve year old narrator of the title-bearing tale says, "In third grade Hawaiiana I learned that 'hale' means 'house' and 'iwa' means 'handsome person' or 'thief.' " To this pre-teen, Haleiwa "is the cool capital of the world" because it embraces everything she is in awe of : surfers, slackers, shirkers and shysters. Original review.
House of Thieves is a voyeur’s delight, offering an intimate look at kids growing up in paradise, doing bad things in pretty places. Original review.
“A writer who can bring you into another world is always interesting, but a writer like Kaui Hart Hemmings, whose engaging stories transport the reader with grace, intelligence, and wit, is a cause for attention, congratulations, and celebration. Her impressive arrival on the literary scene provides a first-class departure for readers.” Peter Cameron
“Kaui Hart Hemmings writes with the same irony, wit, poignancy and mystery one might use to define Honolulu itself. She is acutely aware of the paradoxes of the modern American family, even those which happen to live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…Disdaining the sentimentality of the exile-from-paradise, Hemmings’ writing is like the trade wind—dry, fragrant, essential.” Susanna Moore
“You’ve never read a writer like Kaui Hart Hemmings. In these sharp and fearless stories she burns through Hawaii’s tranquil blue exterior, revealing the lives of islanders in stark contrast to the beauty that surrounds them. As happens in the best fiction, their experiences change them forever; the true mark of Hemmings’ talent is that we, too, come away feeling transformed—a little wiser, a little braver, perhaps even more willing to forgive our own human failings. House of Thieves is an accomplished, gorgeously original debut.” Julie Orringer