Darrell Lum's signature pidgin narratives dominate this nine-story collection, which also includes standard English stories and comic strip illustrations. Endearing and insightful, Lum's characters tell stories of initiation, family, wonder and community. In PASS ON, NO PASS BACK!, "community is not defined by delineating boundaries, but by moving the center outwards to include what has traditionally been defined as marginal. Lum's is a vision of the possibility once expressed by Derek Walcott that 'the highest expression of culture is a total acceptance of every human being.'" -- The Mid-American Review
Winner of the 1992 Association for Asian American Studies National Book Award and the 1991 Elliot Cades Award for Literature.
from The Moiliili Bag Man
Had one nudda guy in one tee-shirt was sitting as da table next to us was watching da Bag Man too. He was eating one plate lunch and afterwards, he went take his plate ovah to da Bag Man. Still had little bit everyting on top, even had bar-ba-que meat left.
"Brah," da guy tell, "you like help me finish? I stay full awready."
Da Bag Man no tell nutting, only nod his head and take da plate. I thought he would eat um real fast. Gobble um up, you know. But was funny, he went put um down and go to da counter fo get one napkin and make um nice by his place, da fork on top da napkin. Even he took da plate out of da box, made um j'like one real restaurant. I wanted fo give him someting too, but I only had my cup wit little bit ice left. I awready went drink up all da Coke and was chewing the ice. Da Bag Man was looking at me now, not at me but at my cup. I nevah know what fo do cause j'like I selfish if I keep my cup, but nevah have nutting inside awready, so shame eh, if you give somebody someting but stay empty. But I nevah know what fo do cause I had to go awready. I thought I could jes leave da cup on da table or be like da tee-shirt guy and tell, "Brah, hea."
So I went get up and walk halfway and den turn back like I went foget throw away my cup. I went look at da Bag Man and say, "You like um?"
Da Bag Man nevah say nutting still yet, but I knew he wanted um so I jes went leave um on his table. I was curious fo see what he was going do wit um on his table. I was curious fo see what he was going do wit um so I went make like I was fussing around wit someting on my bike. He went get out his hankachief from his front pants pocket and unwrap um. Had all his coins inside um and he went take out fifteen cents. Den he went take da cup to da window and point to da sign dat went say "Refills--15 cents."
"Coke," he told da girl. Sly da guy! When I went pass him on my bike, I thought I saw him make one "shaka" sign to me. Wasn't up in da air, was down by his leg, j'like he was saying, "Tanks eh," to me.