The Tattoo by Chris Mckinney | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Tattoo

The Tattoo

4.8 12
by Chris McKinney
     
 

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“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

Overview

“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.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Adult/High School
This is the story of one prisoner's life told to another. The listener is Cal, a white, onetime racist tattoo artist who lost his voice when his throat was cut in a prison fight. He is serving a long sentence on one of the Hawaiian Islands. Over the years, he has become the kind of man other prisoners feel safe talking to—partly because he can't repeat what they say, but also because they trust the sense of peace he has found in his own silence and the time he has served. Cal's new cellmate is Ken, a Japanese man raised in Hawaii-and an outsider like Cal. He has Cal give him a large, symbolic tattoo on his back as he tells his rich though troubled tale. Ken recounts his childhood friendship with a doomed, modern-day Hawaiian prince and the decaying world he ruled. He found himself the muscle man for a bar-owning, prostitution-ring-running, loan-sharking Korean woman. Falling in love with her daughter was just one of the reasons that he ended up behind bars. Teens will appreciate the many deep, complicated relationships. The language and realities are rough, but there is much compassion and wisdom to balance them.
—Will MarstonCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569474501
Publisher:
Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/01/2007
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,149,305
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

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.

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