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Tropic of orange : a novel /

A satire on California featuring two TV journalists, one a Chicano, the other his Japanese-American girlfriend. The novel has many characters, plots and themes. One plot deals with the smuggling of body parts, another with illegal immigration, a third with the export of poisoned oranges, a fourth wi...

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Main Author: Yamashita, Karen Tei, 1951-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Minneapolis, MN : Saint Paul, MN : Coffee House Press ; 1997
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Review by Booklist Review

Yamashita is so tuned into now she can see tomorrow, and it isn't pretty. In her third brilliant novel, she tracks a cataclysmic and frequently surreal series of events precipitated by the summer solstice. The Tropic of Orange is a metaphysical connection between L.A. and a house in rural Mexico, owned but rarely visited by a reporter named Gabriel Balboa. Just as his housekeeper, Rafaela, begins to notice a peculiar elasticity to time and space, as though all the static from radios, TVs, computers, and cellular phones had caused an imbalance in the cosmos, people start dying strange deaths after eating oranges. One man dies on the freeway, causing a massive pile-up. Commuters abandon their luxury cars, which are rapidly transformed into temporary shelters by a community of homeless people. Yamashita's ironic yet mystical story line is an ingenious interpretation of social woes, and her characters shine, especially Emi, Gabriel's sexy, hi-tech Japanese American girlfriend; and Buzzworm, an imposing, Walkman-addicted black Vietnam vet and self-appointed "angel of mercy." Yamashita is, above all, receptive, receiving and decoding all channels and frequencies and taking things to their wild yet somehow logical conclusions. --Donna Seaman

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.