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Da Word Paperback – 2001
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About the Author
Lee A. Tonouchi is a pidgin author and activist. He is da author of da short story collection DA WORD from Bamboo Ridge Press, co-editor of Hybolics, and editor of da in-progress community Pidgin dictionary projeck Da Kine Dictionary from Bess Press
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Wat? You wan me stay tell you `bout da book? Kay den. It's great! There are 13 different short stories, some of which form a series and some don't. The subjects are the kinds of things that most all of us went through in high school or college. You know - hangin` out with the gang, trying to get the courage up to ask a girl to dance, dealing with your girlfriend going somewhere else (than where you were) for the summer, and da kine. Tonouchi gets out some really great lines in each story. Often, if he uses a pidgin word that you might not understand, he quickly uses it again in another context to give you more clues. One of the funniest stories involves a girlfriend who is a Star Trek nut. So... Randall and Lea go to da Star Trek convention, eh. An den Randall says, "I neva know had da kine Oriental Vulcans! I guess so cuz on Voyager get da Popolo [Black] Vulcan now, so guess nowdays anybody can be one Vulcan." And on and on and on. It's great fun.
There is some social commentary woven into "da word," but it's very skillfully done and usually humorous. After all, pidgin didn't exactly come out of the boardrooms in Honolulu, now did it? So, dat boddah you? Too bad! Jus keeding, brah - no want beef. This is definitely and "inside job" - written by a hip author who is fully a part of the culture of which he speaks. Good stuffs!