Tropic of Orange

Tropic of Orange by Karen Tei Yamashita

Tropic of OrangeTheir are a lot of fanciful things in this novel but there is also a lot of spot on observations. The fiction is fun but there are some deeper themes, often involving the clash of the Southern California melting pot (with a the prevalence of people from the Asia and South America).

For instance, Emi is discussing her job in television journalism:

“The point is that anybody can do it. You just have to want to. It’s just about money. It’s not about good honest people like you or about whether us Chicanos or Asians get a bum rap or whether third world countries deserve dictators or whether we should make the world safe for democracy. It’s about selling things:  Reebok, Pepsi, Chevrolet, AllState, Pampers, Pollo Loco, Levis, Fritos, Larry Parker Esq., Tide, Raid, the Pillsbury Doughboy, and Famous Amos. Them that’s smart took away the pretense and do a the home shopping thing, twenty-four hours. Hey, we’re all on board to buy. So who needs a reality check?”