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Growing Up Local

Growing Up LocalGrowing Up Local
edited by Eric Chock, James Harstad, Darrell Lum, & Bill Teter
ISBN: 0-910043-53-1
384 pages

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Winner of the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association Ka Palapala Po‘okela Award for Excellence in Literature


This anthology includes work by established writers, emerging writers, and student writers on the experiences of growing up in the islands. Appropriate for secondary to adult audiences, the volume includes commentary by the authors and work by prize-winning student artists. Ranging from a first-grader's poem about the closing of Waialua Sugar to a poem on the construction of H-3, the work of 52 authors documents what makes growing up in Hawai'i special. A humorous, poignant, thoughtful, touching, and thoroughly enjoyable introduction to Local literature.
Included in the issue is new work by Arlene Biala, bradajo (Jozuf Hadley), Eric Chock, Lisa Linn Kanae, Nora Okja Keller, Darrell H.Y. Lum, Makia Malo, Susan Nunes, Carrie Takahata, Lee A. Tonouchi, and Elizabeth Wight.
from My Healer by Jean Yamasaki Toyama

My grandmother placed her hands on the wife’s back and wiped it with the towel; then she looked at its flesh as if she were measuring a piece of cloth to decide where to lay the pattern. Everything ready, she lit the candle. She poured just a little bit of alcohol in a cup and lit the alcohol. An orange flame leaped out of the cup.

She immediately slapped the cup on the damp spot,and the flesh rushed in to fill the glass. Slowly,the dark skin in the cup turned slightly red. Our eyes fixed on the sight of flesh forced into a mound, flesh that now became only color, texture, and shape.

from the introduction <b>Local Genealogy: What School You Went?</b> by <b>Darrell Lum</b>

The typical local party in Hawai`i might consist of a buffet table set out on the carport with family and friends sitting on folding chairs or on coolers of beer and soda, talking story. If you are a visitor, sometime soon after the introductions you’ll likely be asked, “What school you went?” Locals know that the question refers to what high school you attended. And that the next question might be, “You know my cousin? He grad in ’97.” Invariably, after a few more questions, a connection is made to a relative who attended your school or a mutual acquaintance who lives n the neighborhood or sometimes the discovery of a distant family relationship (“Eh, my cousin married to your sister-in-law!”).

At the same party, the kids call all the older females “Aunty,” whether they are related or not. Local kids have innumerable “aunties,” not all by blood,but all who act as family. In fact, a high school study hall teacher once confessed that the most powerful warning she could use on misbehaving students was, “I know your father,” which made her like an “aunty,” a part of the family.

from A Conservative View by Cathy Song

My mother's thrift frowns on the frivolous--
like singing in the shower
(it's a waste of water).
Her clear and practical sentences
are sprinkled with expressions
semantically rooted to the conservation of money.
They pepper her observations like expletives--
"Poho" if we bought something we couldn't use.
"Humbug" if we have to go out and buy
something we don't need.
"No need"--her favorite expression of all.