Thursday, January 19, 2006

10. "Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers" ~ Lois-Ann Yamanaka

Set in Hawaii, this compilation of short stories covers the life of a young Japanese girl who, based on her surroundings and family, struggles against becoming haole, or immersed in white culture.

What a fascinating book, I thought. Even the way that it is shaped, like a square rather than the typical rectangle, intrigued me. But by the third chapter (or short story), the novelty has worn as thin as the pineapple slices her grandmother cut.

The author's insistence on using the "pidgin" English, which is formally known as Hawaiian Creole English, becomes a hindrence to the story rather then helping develop it. It became annoying, like if someone wrote a book about a stutterer, and you had to weed through all of the "b-b-b-b-b-buts." There are no harsh feelings toward the subject matter, but when it becomes too much work to understand (or, in this case, to convince), the mind grows weary and thinks of stereotypical Hawaii... sugar sand, extinct volcanos, hula dancing. Unfortunately, that's not the writer's intention.

1.0 out of 5.0 Blue Hawaiians


Bibliolatrist said...

Hey Em - love your site! I'm doing the same thing over on mine. I'd like to link to you if that's ok (although I don't think anyone's reading mine, lol).

Kristin Dodge said...

Absolutely, and I'll return the favor...