UH Press around the Web: Hawai‘i Catch-up

Even though 2013 is undeniably well underway, reviews and stories from fall 2012 can still make good reading. Here are some we missed posting earlier.

Walker-WavesWaves of Resistance author Isaiah Walker was interviewed by Daniel Ikaika Ito/Contrast Magazine for Raynorsurf.com, dispelling not only “the burnt-out, Hawaiian surfer stereotype” but the ivory-tower professor stereotype, as well.

The October 2012 canonization of Saint Marianne focused worldwide attention on Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i, as did this article in Syracuse, New York’s The Post-Standard that quotes Anwei Skinsnes Law, author of Kalaupapa: A Collective Memory.

Glenn Wharton’s The Painted King: Art, Activism, and Authenticity in Hawai‘i was reviewed in the new open-access eJournal of Public Affairs. Read the September 2012 review here.

West Hawai‘i Today published a wonderful review geared for Kona residents of Loulu: The Hawaiian Palm in its December 16, 2012 edition. (Note: The photo next to the review shows the plant discussed in the second article appearing on the page.)

HonoluluWeeklycover121107Honolulu Weekly‘s Winter Book Issue served up reviews worth repeating of several UHP titles.
“How ‘Bout Gabe?” on If It Swings, It’s Music: The Autobiography of Hawai‘i’s Gabe Baltazar Jr.

“Strumming Histories” on The ‘Ukulele: A History

“Under Western Eyes” on An American Girl in the Hawaiian Islands: Letters of Carrie Prudence Winter, 1890-1893

“Exiles at Home” on Kalaupapa: A Collective Memory

“Lit Up by Language” on Sky Lanterns: New Poetry from China, Formosa, and Beyond

OK. Onward from here!

CBS Sunday Morning & Other Ukulele News/Reviews

CBS Sunday Morning interviewed Jim Tranquada on the UH Manoa campus (courtesy of CBS Sunday Morning).

Jim Tranquada, coauthor of The ‘Ukulele: A History, had a minute of fame on the CBS Sunday Morning Show that aired October 14 across the U.S. The entire six-minute segment by reporter Seth Doane and producer Kay Lim featured international uke star Jake Shimabukuro, the Kamaka ‘ukulele factory, and teacher Roy Sakuma (impresario of the annual Ukulele Festival Hawaii). Tranquada shared that the instrument now widely identified as a Hawaiian icon actually was introduced by Portuguese immigrants from the island of Madeira, off the coast of Morocco.

As related news, The ‘Ukulele: A History has received thumbs-up reviews from Library Journal and ForeWord Magazine. The former recommends the book for “any comprehensive music collection (and, really, for any popular music collection),” while the latter calls it “a fascinating musical and social history that not only supports Tranquada and King’s argument for a rehabilitation of the instrument’s image, but also sets the stage for a full-scale ‘ukulele revival.” Read the full reviews:
Library Journal    |   ForeWord

Roughly half a world away, on another island, the Uke Ireland & Ukuhooley Bloghas posted a comparative review of Tranquada and King’s history with Ian Whitcomb’s recent Ukulele Heroes (Hal Leonard Books). Embedded within that blog post is a video review by Ukester Brown, a ‘ukulele player in Minnesota, who recommends both books, for different reasons. According to the information on the Uke Ireland site, every Saturday there’s a UkuHooley Meetup at the Dun Laoghaire Club in Dublin—perhaps another example of how the ‘ukulele has become an international cultural phenomenon!

Uke Hunt Reviews The ‘Ukulele

Al Wood’s Uke Hunt review of The ‘Ukulele: A History, by Jim Tranquada and John King, is full of praise:

“Context Finally! . . . Thought Provoking . . . Great Pictures . . . Well Researched. . . If you care about the history of the ukulele you have to buy [this book]. It’s the definitive book on the subject. There’s no other book that comes close to it.”

For the complete review, go to: http://ukulelehunt.com/2012/06/20/the-ukulele-a-history-by-jim-tranquada-and-john-king-review/.

Big Happiness: One of the Best Local Books of 2011

Big HappinessBig Happiness: The Life and Death of a Modern Hawaiian Warrior, by Mark Panek, is called “one of the best local books of 2011” in a review at Hawai‘i Book Blog:

Big Happiness is an account of the amazing and tragic life of Percy Kipapa, local boy turned professional sumo wrestler. In my opinion it’s an important work of creative nonfiction and one of the best local books of 2011. Using a combination of personal experiences with Kipapa, interviews, newspaper articles and court documents, Panek has seamlessly composed a narrative that tells the story of how Percy Kipapa came home a hero only to end his life as a terrible reminder of the destructive power of “meth” addiction. It’s an unofficial biography of a man and a community struggling to stay afloat in a world changing too quickly.”

Read the entire review here: http://www.hawaiibookblog.com/articles/book-review-big-happiness/.

Sumo Fan Magazine Reviews Big Happiness

Many thanks to Chris Gould at Sumo Fan Magazine for his thoughtful review of Big Happiness: The Life and Death of a Modern Hawaiian Warrior, by Mark Panek. While acknowledging that, for sumo cognoscenti, the book “cannot be awarded full marks for sumo content,” Gould writes:

“Panek has worked his fingers to the bone to produce some fine research into Hawaiian culture, and this book must rank as one of the most fun academic texts ever. It’s no mean feat to make a history and cultural book so accessible and readable, all the time drawing you into the character of Percy.”

Surfer’s Praise for Pacific Passages

Pacific PassagesRead Tim Baker’s Surfing World review of Pacific Passages: An Anthology of Surf Writing, edited by Patrick Moser, here.

“This gem of a book provides just about the best historical overview of surfing, and surf writing, you are likely to find anywhere. . . . This kind of thoughtful, revealing, sensitive contemplation of the surfing life seems like an antidote to the times we live in. I loved this book, if only for the way it helped illustrate that the current buzz and chatter of web silliness is just one very small point on a long, long continuum. Thank goodness for that.”