From 1968 to 1977, the International Hotel in San Francisco was the epicenter of what is known as the “Yellow Power” movement. In the 10 novellas that make up “I Hotel,” one for each year Yamashita illustrates how this umbrella term does not do justice to the complexities, similarities, and differences between the movement’s ethnic groups and individuals. A political powder keg of a novel, at turns explosive and poignant, and altogether triumphant.
— Geo Ong, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenl
Word’s pick: “The Bed Moved” by Rebecca Schiff
Glancing at this collection of 23 short stories, you may have thought to yourself, “God, do we really need another hilarious Jewish writer writing about death and Jewishness?” Apparently, God thought we did. Rebecca Schiff writes about other topics, too, including sex, death, and family relationships, but no matter the subject, she is brilliant.
— Gabe Grossman, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbr
Community Bookstore’s pick: “Zero K” by Don DeLillo
No matter where you stand, a new Don DeLillo novel is an event, and “Zero K” stands as the best of his recent work. Great novelists tend to write about the same issues, over and over, and DeLillo takes back up his preoccupations with language, technology, and death in this startling story about environmental devastation and life extension. And the sentences the intense, penetrating DeLillo sentences are still here, but now with a touch of Beckett to wax their warp. DeLillo turns 80 in November, and “Zero K” is still years ahead of the rest of us.
— Hal Hlavinka, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commun