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Saturday Night at the Pahala Theatre Paperback – January 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0910043311 ISBN-10: 0910043310 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Bamboo Ridge Press; First Edition edition (January 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0910043310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0910043311
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,003,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A bold push at the borders of meaning and memory."

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By "takfam" on May 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Like the author, I grew up Japanese-American in 1970s Hawaii, largely in the world that Yamanaka portrays in her stunning literary debut, "Saturday Night at the Pahala Theatre." When I first read this book, I felt shocked, offended, scandalized, and totally unprepared to deal with a book that mirrored so closely the world that I knew. That's because I, like everyone else I grew up with, never saw ourselves in literature before. Quite simply, "Pahala Theatre" was the very first of its kind, and powerfully raw, emotional, and effective at that. It pulls no punches, and perhaps captures more pain than pleasure, but believe me, the pain she captures is "authentic" (I know, I know, "authentic" is a questionable descriptive term to use when judging fiction). Still, like none before it, this book provides a cathartic experience for those of us who, up until now, have never seen ourselves expressed as literary characters. (And no, Michener certainly doesn't do it-- not the interiority that we feel is our own, anyway. How could he?). Yamanaka's book focuses on adolescence in a particular time and place, and growing up Japanese-American in post WWII Hawaii meant that one was part of the population majority, and also not necessarily marginalized politically or economically. But you were still an outsider beyond Hawaii's shores, and mainstream American culture, transmitted via the media, made you aware of this daily. So there was a uniquely paradoxical "majority-but-minority" identity dynamic going on, which you should keep in mind while reading the book. Yamanaka's celebrated use of "pidgin," Hawaii's creole dialect, holds a mirror up to nature, as 'twere.Read more ›
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Wot! on August 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
dis book shows wut people in hawaii go tru and how dey talk. reading this book is like reading my life. i bet choke people in hawaii can realate to dis book. i don't find this book offensive...its just how people live. the cussing and the pidgin talk doesn't boddah me at all....i hear that kine words everyday! k-denz
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Wailua Gurl on August 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
dis book really wen express what da many generations in hawai'i go tru... it also wen show how da yonga generation talk to each oda and what their families had fo go tru... if you really like know what hawai'i is, rather than believe dat we stil stay living in grass huts, and wear coconut bras, read any book that Louis-Ann Yamanaka or any other hawaii writer wrote for the true flavor of our islands.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is not a book for light reading. This isn't even a book for medium reading. These are seriously heavy poems that must be studied carefully. At first they may seem crude, making Yamanaka appear a twisted author, but she is only being brutally honest. A person would have to do some research, or have some kind of understanding of why she wrote these stories. Don't just take them at face value. They're deeper than your first impression leads you to believe. I've read the poems in this book some 2, some 3 and 4 times, I'm still pretty sure I don't get all of it. But what I do understand is amazing, harsh, and in its way beautiful. To hear her read them brings the characters and the stories to life.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tricia on March 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
I think that this book had a bit of foul language but being from Hawaii it was easy to understand the "pidgen" english that was written. some story the old timers could relate to and some stories i was able to relate to too. This is a definate read for all hawaii kids and others too.
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