Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

PAPERBACKS

May 02, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

THE FLOATING WORLD by Cynthia Kadohata (One World/Ballantine: $10.; 193 pp.). Kadohata's novel about a Japanese-American girl's coming of age during the '50s invokes not the urban pleasure districts depicted in 19th Century wood-block prints, but a dark vision of the Southern United States. For Olivia Osaka's family, "The floating world was the gas station attendants, restaurants, and jobs we depended on, the motel towns floating in the middle of fields and mountains." The Osakas must confront the limited opportunities available to Asian-Americans in a country still tainted by wartime prejudice, but Olivia pays little attention to societal problems: Her attention remains fixed on the complex relationships within her own family. Kadohata's descriptions of a young girl's efforts to understand the conflicts between her mismatched parents and her tyrannical grandmother form a spare but affecting portrait.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|