Zen Cho's Reviews > Summer of the Big Bachi

Summer of the Big Bachi by Naomi Hirahara
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Apr 26, 10

bookshelves: written-by-poc, war, asia, crime-or-mystery

Really liked this, and will look out for the next book. I found Mas interesting and sympathetic and liked the portrayal of a multicultural community -- felt much more convincing than the whitewashed pictures of USA you get via TV and movies. Also thought the portrayal of the dilemma of the PoC growing up in a white-majority country -- what am I, what should I be etc. etc. -- was interestingly done. It had nuance.

I'm not sure if the way Hirahara transliterated Japanese-accented English is how I'd have done with it, but I prefer it to a pretence that all Englishes are the same. And I liked it in a way; having the main character and many of his friends speak "broken" English made it the norm. So I guess I fall on the side of thinking it's cool. (I probably would be more dubious if Hirahara was white -- when Alexander McCall Smith made the opposite decision in writing Malaysian English, writing Malaysian characters' dialogue in perfectly grammatical standard English, I thought that was the right decision for him and would probably have been annoyed if he'd tried writing Manglish.)
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