UH Hilo alumnus writes survival novel

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo alumnus, Austin Aslan ('13), recently released The Girl at the Center of the World.

In this fast-paced, exhilarating sequel to the acclaimed The Islands at the End of the World, Leilani and her family on the Big Island of Hawai‘i face the challenge of survival in the world of the Emerald Orchid, a green presence that appeared in the sky after a global blackout. As the Hawaiian Islands go back to traditional ways of living, people must grow their own food and ration everything from gas to bullets. Medicine is scarce; a simple infection can mean death. Old tensions and new enemies emerge. And one girl, Leilani, is poised to save her world.

It was published by Random House and was named a Best Book of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews. “Exciting and fast-paced entertainment with a thoughtful subtext asking readers to ponder the interconnectedness of life on a fragile planet.” -Kirkus Reviews

Austin Aslan was inspired to write his debut novel, The Islands at the End of the World, while living on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. He earned a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. His research on rare Hawaiian plants won him a pair of destroyed hiking boots, a tattered rain jacket, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Austin is pursuing a PhD in geography at the University of Arizona. He continues to write fiction.

University of Hawai‘i Alumni