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.
Fiercely satirical. . . . Yamashita presents [an] intricate plot with mordant wit.” New York Times Book Review
A stunner.” Library Journal (starred review)
Brilliant. . . . An ingenious interpretation of social woes.” Booklist (starred review)
David Foster Wallace meets Gabriel García Márquez.” Publishers Weekly
Yamashitas fast-paced and bittersweet tale ties together all classes, races and nationalities in a cosmic vision that is both well-written and entertaining.” Counterpoise
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
An apocalypse of race, class, and culture, fanned by the media and the harsh L.A. sun.
About the Author
Karen Tei Yamashita is the author of Through the Arc of the Rain Forest
, Circle K Cycles
, I Hotel
, and Anime Wong
, all published by Coffee House Press. I Hotel
was selected as a finalist for the National Book Award and awarded the California Book Award, the American Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Award, and the Association for Asian American Studies Book Award. She has been a US Artists Ford Foundation Fellow and is currently Professor of Literature and Creative Writing and the co-holder of the University of California Presidential Chair for Feminist and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.