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Tropic of Orangeby Karen Tei Yamashita
Synopses & Reviews
Fiction. Irreverently juggling magical realism, film noir, hip hop, and chicanismo, Karen Yamashita presents an L.A. where the homeless, gangsters, infant organ entrepreneurs , and Hollywood collide on a stretch of highway struck by disaster. The Harbor Freeway crisis becomes the apex of events-caused by an orange, which has been brought to L.A. from just north of Mazatlan, dragging with it the Tropic of Cancer. Rafaela, caretaking Gabriel's getaway home in Mexico , discovers a dealer of human body parts and flees north, joining a performer/laborer named Arcangel. Meanwhile, Gabriel, a news reporter in L.A., has been following leads in which seemingly unrelated events mysteriously unite as the homeless take up residence in abandoned Mercedes, lowriders, and Cads, and an aged Asian American sansei conducts symphonies from a freeway overpass. Emi, T.V. executive and Gabriel's girlfriend, along with Buzzworm, his connection to the streets, get caught in the middle of this mounting wildfire just as the cast of characters-diverse as the city itself-assembles for the final event. TROPIC OF ORANGE is an apocalypse of race, class, and culture, fanned by the media under the harsh L.A. sun. Essential reading for the twenty-first century.
An apocalypse of race, class, and culture, fanned by the media and the harsh L.A. sun.
This fiercely satirical, semifantastical novel ... features an Asian-American television news executive, Emi, and a Latino newspaper reporter, Gabriel, who are so focused on chasing stories they almost don't notice that the world is falling apart all around them. Karen Tei Yamashita's staccato prose works well to evoke the frenetic breeziness and monumental self-absorption that are central to their lives.-Janet Kaye, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Heralded as a "big talent" by the Los Angeles Times and praised by Newsday for "[wrestling] with profound philosophical and social issues" while delivering an "immensely entertaining story," Karen Yamashita is the recipient of an American Book Award and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Award. A California native who has also lived in Brazil and Japan, she teaches at the University of California-Santa Cruz, where she received the Chancellor's Award for Diversity in 2009.
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