Book Review: Haoles in Hawaii

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If you’re interested in Hawai’i or just interested in critical race studies, you ought not miss Haoles in Hawai’i. I found it to be a fast, accessible read, mercifully short and to the point, unapologetic without being polemical and one-sided, and highly educational. Literally translated “haoles” are foreigners, but in contemporary Hawai’i, “haoles” include all […]

Book Review: Baseball in April

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Baseball in April and Other Stories is a collection of short stories written by one of the dons of Latino literature in the U.S., Gary Soto. It was first published in 1990, but it remains relevant today – a classic. The stories in the collection filled me with nostalgia for my own childhood (or at […]

Book Review: Unfamiliar Fishes

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I found this book to be one of the most readable and entertaining texts on the history of Hawai’i since Cook, and I’ve read a lot of them. It’s practically the history of Hawai’i as a beach read. In fact, I read most of it on a beach in Hawai’i. Vowell’s writing is accessible and […]

Book Review: Shoal of Time

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Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders occupy an awkward space in the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) coalition. Many groups call themselves API, but the PI is often absent. In some cases, it doesn’t appear that PIs were ever present to begin with. With this in mind, I undertook a project of reading everything I could […]

Book Review: Aloha Betrayed

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A must-read for those interested in Hawai’i. Much of the colonial history of the islands is built around the notion that the “bloodless revolution” was an indication of the passive consent of the Hawaiian people to the takeover of Hawai’i by white business interests. This book uses Hawaiian language resources to demonstrate that Hawaiians did […]

Book Review: The Glass Palace

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At the risk of sounding cliche, Amitav Gosh’s The Glass Palace is an important book. It’s importance begins with the subject matter – a one-hundred year span of history that unfolds in India, Malaya (now Malaysia) and Burma (now Myanmar), all countries of which most Americans, myself included, know precious little. The book addresses the […]

Book Review: Uncle Swami

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A South Asian friend of mine once told me that 9/11 broke her heart; that after 9/11, she felt life for her as a South Asian woman would never be the same. How life changed for her is part of a richer story of what 9/11 meant for South Asians that is at the heart […]

Django In Chains: Why Revenge Is Just For The Movies


The controversy regarding Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is all over the internet. From the fight between Tarantino and Spike Lee, who refuses to see the movie because he says it’s sure to be “disrespectful of my ancestors,” to criticism of the character Broomhilda, who many say is less an attempt at a depiction of a […]