This map plots the settings and references in Cloud Atlas

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The Big Island, Hawaii
The Big Island, Hawaii
Creative Commons AttributionThe Big Island, Hawaii - Credit: mccready, Flickr


The Big Island, Hawaii
Creative Commons AttributionThe Big Island, Hawaii - Credit: Steve Dunleavy

Sloosha's Crossing an' Ev'rythin' After is based in the Hawaii Islands, particularly the largest of the eight main islands, often known as the Big Island. David Mitchell visited and researched the island with the aid of a travel scholarship from the Society of Authors. This section of the book pays close attention to the geography of the eastern side of the Big Island, and readers can trace Zachry's movements on google maps or the annotated map below. I have also tried to locate some of the more important locations within the bookmarks.

Hawaii is the newest of the US states and the only one composed of a group of islands. Its beautiful scenery, tropical climate, active volcanoes and intriguing wildlife make it a popular tourist destination as well as a draw for scientists of many hues.

Europeans first graced the archipelago when Captain Cook discovered the islands in 1778. His second visit in 1779 proved fatal: he was killed by natives in a skirmish over a stolen boat. The native population dwindled when visitors and traders introduced the usual array of European diseases. The islands retain their own language, although English is used alongside it. The current demographic of 1.3 million is mixed, although the most dominant groups are white Americans, Asian Americans and white Europeans. This section of the novel draws on the oral tradition, a return to the days of pre-civilization when the spoken word took precedence over the written.




Big I according to Zachry
Public DomainBig I according to Zachry

1.) Mauna Kea (see bookmark 272) the mountain which Zachry and Meronym climb to discover the observatories (see bookmark p.289)

2.) Waipio Valley  (see bookmark p.249) through which runs the River Waipo. It is in this valley that the Kona murder Zachry’s father and kidnap his brother. 

3.) Kona territory.

4.) Mountain Kohala - (see bookmark p.251) where Zachry herds his goats. Zachry crosses the razorback of the mountain to escape from the Kona and deliver Meronym to Ikat’s finger.

5.) Hilo - site of a different tribe.

6.) Honokaa – site of the annual intertribal barter. Also site of the Kona attack, where Zachry is captured.

7.) Roughly the position of Waimea Town, from where Zachry and Meronym begin their ascent of Mauna Kea.

8.) Nine Valleys. Home to the Zachry’s people, the valleysman. So called by Zachry because there are nine individual valleys which cut into the land on the northeastern side of the island.   

9.) Kukuihaele – through which the valleysman pass on their way to the barter in Honokaa, and where the Kona gathered before their assault on the Nine Valleys.

10.) Ikat’s Finger - Difficult to see on this map, but the probably location of the spit of land for which Zachry and Meronym are headed after the Kona attack.