This new edition of Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s first collection of poetry, Saturday Night at the Pahala Theatre, includes a wide-ranging interview with the author reflecting on language, her writing process, and how it all began. Yamanaka has since authored Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers, Blu’s Hanging, Heads By Harry, Father of the Four Passages, Behold the Many, Name Me Nobody, and The Heart’s Language.
Readers of Parnassus, Michigan Quarterly Review, Puerto del Sol, and ZYZZYVA have long known a well-kept secret—the power of Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s poetry. Saturday Night at the Pahala Theatre emerges from the abandoned debris of paradise, a Hawaiʻi of cruel girlhoods in small plantation towns … poetry enabled by its elegant structure as much as its indolent diction—a bold push at the borders of meaning and memory.”
—Voice Literary Supplement
Saturday Night at the Pahala Theatre selected for the Pushcart Prize, XVIII, 1993. “Yarn Wig,” selected for the Pushcart Prize XIX, 1994. Winner 1994 Association for Asian American Studies National Book Award for Poetry, and 1993 Elliot Cades Award for Literature.
From HONOLULU Magazine’s 50 Essential Hawai‘i Books You Should Read in Your Lifetime:
“This work is the patient zero of local literature,” wrote one judge of this 1993 book. “Everything before it can’t help but sound jejune and quaint and hegemonic. Everything after it can’t help but wrestle with its force.”
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