UC Santa Cruz Professor nominated for 2010 National Book Award
Thanks to Scott McKenzie’s soulful crooning and dreamlike lyrics, generations of people throughout the world have imagined San Francisco to be an idyllic escape from reality where carefree hippies frolic about with flowers in their hair. Natives to the city, particularly minority groups, know it differently.
In her latest novel, “I Hotel,” UC Santa Cruz professor Karen Tei Yamashita gives voice to those groups by examining the 1960s and ’70s in Northern California through the eyes of a Chinese-American poet, a Filipino-American farm worker organizer and a Japanese-Russian-American disability activist, among others.
One of five finalists nominated for a 2010 National Book Award in the Fiction category, the novel catapults the reader into a series of 10 novellas beginning with the line: “So I’m Walter Cronkite, dig? And it’s February 27,1968, and I’m saying, the U.S. is mired in a stalemate in Vietnam, and you are there.”