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"[McKinney] has a keen eye for details of places and people. The storyline is well developed. . . . McKinney is pitch-perfect on the social and racial climate of Hawaiians, Asians, immigrants, mixed-bloods, and whites (haoles). . . . The frequent dialogues are crisp and pointed and the sharply etched characters and often biting dialogue make The Queen of Tears a worthwhile read. "- Korean Quarterly "McKinney's portrait of a besieged woman within a multicultural, multigenerational family saga poignantly and powerfully dramatizes the troubles women face, the pan-Asian melting pot of Hawaiian culture, and the conflicts inherent in Americanization. "- Booklist "McKinney demonstrates a talent for restraint and tight pacing. "- Publishers Weekly By age fourteen she was on her own, fleeing the communists, a waif living in the streets of Seoul, begging from American soldiers and stealing food. Then fate intervened: She was hit by a car driven by a prominent filmmaker. He mentored her into an acting career. By age nineteen, Park Soong Nan was the brightest star of Korean cinema. They called her "The Queen of Tears. " Many years later, her three grown children are settled in Hawaii, and she comes to visit. Soong's presence is catalytic, setting off smoldering jealousies, dormant longings, and the unending contest for primacy in her affection. Chris McKinney is the author of The Tattoo and Bolohead Row. He received both his BA and MA in English from the University of Hawaii and currently teaches at Honolulu Community College. He resides in Honolulu.
By age fourteen she was on her own, fleeing the communists, a waif living in the streets of Seoul, begging from American soldiers and stealing food. Then fate intervened: She was hit by a car driven by a prominent filmmaker. He mentored her into an acting career. By age nineteen, Park Soong Nan was the brightest star of Korean cinema. They called her "The Queen of Tears." Many years later, her three grown children are settled in Hawaii, and she comes to visit. Soong's presence is catalytic, setting off smoldering jealousies, dormant longings, and the unending contest for primacy in her affection.
"A book about 'the sins of the fathers.' . . . A gritty, troubling book."--The Honolulu Advertiser "The other Hawai'i, the one tourists never get to see."--Ian MacMillan Ken Hideyoshi is the new guy in Halawa Correctional Institute. He's tough looking, a hard case, observes his cellmate Cal--the mute tattoo artist of the prison, a wife murderer. SYN, a gang symbol, is tattooed on his hand, and he has a Japanese emblem inscribed on his left shoulder. He asks Cal for a tattoo on his back, in kanji script, of Musashi's Book of the Void. While he is being worked on, he tells Cal his life story, a tale of hardship and abuse. Motherless, he was raised by a distant father, a Vietnam War veteran, in the impoverished hinterlands. In his teen years he hung out with the native Hawaiian gangs and was drawn into the Hawaiian-Korean underworld of strip bars and massage parlors. His ambition and proud samurai spirit seem, inevitably, to lead to his downfall. Chris McKinney is of Korean, Japanese, and Scottish descent. He was born in Honolulu and grew up in Kahaluu. He portrays the native Hawaiian experience from the inside, where children of mixed ethnicity grow up far from the clear water and pristine beaches of the rich visitors' resorts.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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