I Hotel

By Karen Tei Yamashita Coffeehouse Press, 2010 I Hotel nets the social and personal ferment of San Francisco in the years 1968–1977 in ten interconnected, stylistically varied segments. As the novel unfolds, we meet orphaned teenager Paul and his mentor Chen, a radical professor; Mo Akagi, a Yellow Panther; Gerald, an avant-garde saxophonist; Sandy Hu, an innovative choreographer; and a variety of other gutsy and inventive activists who comprise a broad spectrum of Asian Americans asserting their rights—the Yellow Power Movement. With a rich soundscape punctuated by James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Janis Joplin; Mao, Malcolm, and Martin; and a narrative pastiche of demonstrations, jam sessions, guerrilla theater, and kung fu; transcripts, puns, and letters, Yamashita’s novel of the dawn of Asian American culture depicts a clamorous and righteous era of protest and creativity. (Booklist)

Karen Tei Yamashita is a Japanese American writer and Associate Professor of Literature at University of California, Santa Cruz, where she teaches creative writing and Asian American literature. She has also written a number of plays and is a finalist for the 2010 National Book Award.