I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita

Sometimes I feel like the hardest time for me to understand and make sense of are the decades before and after I was born. Sure, I’ve seen tv and movies from the late 60s through the 80s, but it’s like light scattered through broken glass.

I Hotel was not only a fantastic snapshot of the vibe of the Bay Area from that time, but it gave me a sense of the time I felt I’d always been missing.

Like all good post-modern novels, this one is a collage of different styles and narrators, that paints a fuller picture than if it had been locked to a single viewpoint. There are some historical figures in here too. Some, like S.I. Hawakaya, seemed to strange to be real. But he was and my dad totally remembered him. A strange, violent little man, Hawakaya.

Worth a read, especially if you want to dig deep into some local history.

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