Southland brings us a fascinating story of race, love, murder and history, against the backdrop of an ever-changing Los Angeles. A young Japanese-American woman, Jackie Ishida, is in her last semester of law school when her grandfather, Frank Sakai, dies unexpectedly. While trying to fulfill a request from his will, Jackie discovers that four African-American boys were killed in the store Frank owned during the Watts Riots of 1965. Along with James Lanier, a cousin of one of the victims, Jackie tries to piece together the story of the boys’ deaths. In the process, she unearths the long-held secrets of her family’s history.
Southland depicts a young woman in the process of learning that her own history has bestowed upon her a deep obligation to be engaged in the larger world. And in Frank Sakai and his African-American friends, it presents characters who find significant common ground in their struggles, but who also engage each other across grounds—historical and cultural—that are still very much in dispute.
Moving in and out of the past—from the internment camps of World War II, to the barley fields of the Crenshaw District in the 1930s, to the streets of Watts in the 1960s, to the night spots and garment factories of the 1990s—Southland weaves a tale of Los Angeles in all of its faces and forms.
Yumi Fuller hasn’t set foot in her hometown of Liberty Falls, Idaho—heart of the potato-farming industry—since she ran away at age fifteen. Twenty-five years later, the prodigal daughter returns to confront her dying parents, her best friend, and her conflicted past, and finds herself caught up in an altogether new drama. The post-millennial farming community has been invaded by Agribusiness forces at war with a posse of activists, the Seeds of Resistance, who travel the country in a camping car, “The Spudnick,” biofueled by pilfered McDonald’s french-fry oil.
Following her widely hailed, award-winning debut novel, My Year of Meats, Ruth Ozeki returns here to deliver a quirky cast of characters and a wickedly humorous appreciation of the foibles of corporate life, globalization, political resistance, youth culture, and aging baby boomers. All Over Creation tells a celebratory tale of the beauty of seeds, roots, and growth—and the capacity for renewal that resides within us all.
A literary dreamscape in which the landscapes of childhood, homelands, bodies, lovers, and desires succumb to whimsy, revision, and denial. With wild grace, Chin bounds through actual events and imagined outcomes-in a place where killing snakes, stern discipline, family pets, and childhood vacations share equal time with unrequited love, the mournful specters of ex-lovers, imagined passions, and the enigmatic power of a good kiss-reconciling what is lost, taken away, denied, outgrown, left behind, survived, remembered, and reclaimed.
In a magnificent land where myth mixes treacherously with truth, one woman is in charge of telling them apart. Liu Hulan is the Inspector in China’s Ministry of Public Security whose tough style rousts wrongdoers and rubs her superiors the wrong way. Now her latest case finds her trapped between her country’s distant past and her own recent history.
The case starts at a rally for a controversial cult that ends suddenly in bloodshed, and leads to the apparent murder of an American archaeologist, which officials want to keep quiet. And haunting Hulan’s investigation is the possible theft of ancient dragon bones that might alter the history of civilization itself.
Getting to the bottom of ever-spiraling events, Hulan unearths more scandals, confronts more murderers, and revives tragic memories that shake her tormented marriage to its core. In the end, she solves a mystery as big, unruly, and complex as China itself.
Suzy Park is a twenty-nine-year-old Korean American interpreter for the New York City court system who makes a startling and ominous discovery about her family history that will send her on a chilling quest. Five years prior, her parents--hardworking greengrocers who forfeited personal happiness for their children's gain--were brutally murdered in an apparent robbery of their store. But the glint of a new lead entices Suzy into the dangerous Korean underworld, and ultimately reveals the mystery of her parents' homicide.
When 25-year-old Jenny Shimada steps out of the Rhinecliff train station in New York's Hudson Valley, the last person she expects to see is Rob Frazer, a shadowy figure from her previous life. On the lam for an act of violence against the American government, Jenny agrees to take on the job of caring for three younger fugitives whom Frazer has spirited out of California. One of them, the granddaughter of a wealthy newspaper magnate in San Francisco, has become a national celebrity. Kidnapped by a homegrown revolutionary group, Pauline shocked America when she embraced her captors' ideology, denouncing family and class to enlist in their radical cell.
American Woman unfolds the story of Jenny and her charges -- Pauline, Juan, and Yvonne, the remains of the busted revolutionary cadre -- as they pursue their destinies from an old farmhouse in upstate New York back to California. Provocative, suspenseful, and often wickedly comic, the novel explores the psychology of the young radicals -- outsiders all -- as isolation and paranoia inevitably undermine their ideals. American Woman is a tour de force with chilling resonance for readers today.
Binh, a Vietnamese cook, flees Saigon in 1929, disgracing his family to serve as a galley hand at sea. The taunts of his now-deceased father ringing in his ears, Binh answers an ad for a live-in cook at a Parisian household, and soon finds himself employed by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.
Toklas and Stein hold court in their literary salon, for which the devoted yet acerbic Binh serves as chef, and as a keen observer of his "Mesdames" and their distinguished guests. But when the enigmatic literary ladies decide to journey back to America, Binh is faced with a monumental choice: will he, the self-imposed "exile," accompany them to yet another new country, return to his native Vietnam, or make Paris his home?
Reminiscent of Pablo Neruda's Elemental Odes, Small Arguments is a stunningly original debut by a gifted young poet. The language of Small Arguments is simple yet there is nothing simple in its ideas. The work touches on the structures of argument, orchestrating material around repetition, variation and contrast. Thammavongsa's approach is like that of a scientist/philosopher, delicately probing material for meaning and understanding. The poet collects small lives, and argues for a larger belonging: a grain of dirt, a crushed cockroach, the eyes of a dead dragonfly. It is a work that suggests we can create with what we know and with that alone. -- "This is the voice of a pilgrim, the one who bends to see, leans to hear... Thammavongsa has distilled her meaning from her details so masterfully and with such confident wisdom that she seems to be reading nature. Through her eyes, we can believe we see the true meaning in things." - Anne Michaels"A formidable work." - George Elliot Clarke
Poetry. Asian-American. Mei-mei Berssenbrugge is one of the very few poets writing in the United States today whose voice and writing style are immediately recognizable. In her new collection, NEST, the medium of her poetry continues to be the sentence. To the formalities of syntax and grammar she adds the structures of domestic architecture, isolation, health, desire, play, and family life. Her writing offers a unique poetics of metaphysics and manners. As always the poetry is sensuous and stunning, and Richard Tuttle has once again designed an arresting cover.
A collection examining America's loss of innocence, the poems in this title range from the horrific flight of a World War II pilot to the World Trade Center attack, from the death of JFK Jr to the poet's own bastard birth.