Thursday, April 28, 2011

Reflections on Creating the Online Reading Guide

In the comments of this blog post, please write a short reflection about what you observed about writing, learning, literature, audience, communication, reading, teaching, and anything else that you would like to say about creating this collaborative document. (I've enabled anonymous comments if you'd rather comment that way).

Write whatever you'd like, but if you need some questions, one of these may help:

  1. How was this assignment different from others you've done before?
  2. What did you like about this assignment? What worked well? What could use work?
  3. What did you learn that you surprised you? What did you discover? What was illuminated about reading or writing? What were your thoughts about this assignment at the beginning of the semester and how have they changed throughout the course of this work?
  4. How did this assignment help you to think about writing and reading in a new way? Or if it didn't, say more about that. 
  5. What did you think about the author visit? What happened that made you think about the book, about writing, or about writers in a new way?
  6. What did you learn about collaborative writing? About writing or editing in general?
  7. If someone else was doing a similar assignment (creating a collaborative online reader's guide in a college course) what advice would you give them?
  8. Any feedback at all on this assignment would be appreciated. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Reading Guide to Fall of the I-Hotel: 1971 by Michael

Reading Guide to Fall of the I-Hotel: 1971 by Michael

1971: Aiiieeeee! Hotel

Chapter 1: Outlaws

Discussion Questions:

How is this story relevant to the time period of the chapter?

Were the situations and results which Iron Ax encountered justified?

Synopsis: The narrator introduces us to the idea of outlaws. There are 108 of them, and these are people who live for murder, crime, and disaster. The narrator makes multiple references to both weapons and jazz instruments, objects which are used almost interchangeably throughout this section of the book. The narrator begins telling the tale of Iron Ox, one of the 108 bandits, presumably one of the more ruthless ones. The tale begins with Iron Ox crying, because he is not allowed to visit his poor mother. The chief outlaw, Timely Rain, tells Iron Ox he is allowed to visit his mother, but he must follow three rules. One, he mustn’t drink wine, two, he must go alone, and three, he must leave behind his two signature axes. On his journey, Iron Ox runs into a man who claims to be him and asks for money. Iron Ax quickly defeats him, but spares his life when he discovers the imposter is simply trying to earn money for his poor mother. Later, he stops in a house for food, but discovers it is the house of the imposter, and he had lied about the poor mother. Iron Ox kills the man, but the wife escapes. Iron Ox continues his journey, and finds his mother. He begins to bring his mother home with him, but stops to get her some water. When he returns with the water, he finds tiger cubs gnawing at his mother’s limbs. She’s been ripped to pieces by them. Iron Ox, in a rage, kills the cubs and their parents. He tells this to some hunters he runs into, and they take him to a wealthy bureaucrat to celebrate his victory. He forgets his promise, and drinks wine until he passes out. The wife of the man he killed earlier calls the police. He is arrested, but Timely Rain has sent another bandit to watch after Iron Ox, who aids him in his escape. Iron Ox then proceeds to kill everyone. The police chief, Black-Eyed Tiger joins the outlaws and leaves with Iron Ox. Throughout the story, the narrator comments on the events which are unfolding, and at times, relates them to more modern times.

Chapter 2: Theater of Double Ax

Discussion Questions:

What Asian American struggles does Yamashita highlight in this chapter?

What is the significance of the characters Yamashita listed in the character list?

What is the significance of the dancers?

Synopsis: The narrator from the last chapter mentions how intense the last story was, and goes on to recite a poem about how strong and manly poetry is. The format shifts into a play, with the acts called “Ax”. The character list is filled with famous pairs involving Asians, who do not actually appear in this chapter. The location is listed as “Asian America (where’s that?)” and the time is 1971. The narrator tells us of Pa, a man who has 5 sets of Siamese twins, the final one being a boy and girl. The scene starts with Pa working at his shop, speaking to his customer. They talk about how the youth is growing up confused about whether they should become more American, or retain their Chinese origins. An act interlude begins in a coffee house in Chinatown, where the Council of Third World Liberation Front. Various representatives of different races sit around, discussing how many positions they are going to request. Some members of the group think the Asians should only have one representative amongst them, but the different Asians insist on having separate representatives. A Chinese man enters the room, pulls out an ax from under the table, and chops the table to shreds. They quickly finish the meeting, agreeing to give each Asian group their own representatives. Act two then begins. Act two involves two dancers, one the narrator, in a jazz club. They sing a capella as they wait for their jazz ensemble to set up. The ladies begin dancing with different weapons in their hands. With each dance, they invite men to come onto the stage and lie on the floor. They tell the men they are now hostages. After the final dance, the women place pieces of sushi on the men’s chests, and use samurai swords to slice the sushi in half, leaving the men unharmed.

Chapter 3: Liang Shan Po, California

Discussion questions:

Why do you think the child’s parents had to leave the boy with a white family? Did they make the right choice?

What does the narrator have against the story?

Synopsis: A young boy, who is said in the introductions to eventually become a great outlaw, is found in the Golden Mountain, being raised by a poor white family. The white woman raising the boy is in the kitchen, cooking something. The man raising him returns, and tells the woman that the Asian child’s parents have given him another envelope containing money. They call the child Chinaboy the entire time. We find out today is his birthday, and that the woman is baking the boy a cake. We find out these two have been raising this five years old boy since he was a baby, and that he is not the first boy that they have raised. Before him, they raised someone named Jimmy. Several months pass, and a couple arrives to take the child. The boy, afraid of them, and the foreign language they speak, tries to hide. The white couple convinces him to get in the car, but before he does, the woman slips the red envelopes she has been getting from his parents into his pocket, telling him it belongs to him. The narrator cuts in, and speaks about what a cliché, boring story this is. The narrator then talks about how the white people may have been abusive, dishonest, bigoted, and terrible people, but then reminds us that all outlaws are bound for glory, and they all have their starts.

Chapter 4: War & Peace

Discussion questions:

Who are the people in the pictures?

What are they supposed to represent, if anything?

Synopsis: A series of pictures shows two people, a brother and a sister, as they progress through time, growing older. Each picture has a different name, and a different background, and a few of them have Chinese characters under them.

Chapter 5: Sax & Violence

Discussion Question:

Was Gerald justified in his protest actions, or did he deserve jail?

Synopsis: This chapter follows Gerald K. Li, a musician who has just gotten out of jail for protesting against the administration of San Francisco State College. Gerald is the boyfriend of Sandy Hu, who was one of the dancers in the second chapter. With him, Gerald is carrying two saxophones, an alto and a tenor. Gerald is conveniently seated next to the president of San Francisco State College on a flight. He speaks to him about jazz, and the two men try to one up each other on their knowledge of the topic. The plane arrives at its destination, and the president offers Gerald a ride into the city, which Gerald accepts. The two speak about the school, and the trouble it has been facing. Eventually, Gerald asks the president if he can remove him from probation so he can resume classes. The president asks why he is on probation, and Gerald admits he was arrested for trying to protect a girl while protesting against the school. The conversation quickly escalates into an argument. We are given a flashback to Gerald in prison. He has a friend there, La Van, who manages to get him into a private cell. Back in current times, the president begins driving recklessly due to his argument, and Gerald begins smoking marijuana in the car. The two begins calling each other offensive names, and eventually, the president, enraged, kicks him out of the car and drives off. The scene cuts to Gerald playing jazz with his band, including Sandy Hu. Then, we return to the present again. The president has returned to Gerald, an undetermined amount of time later, and tosses Gerald’s luggage out of the car. His possessions are scattered everywhere on the street.

Chapter 6: Chiquita Banana

Discussion Questions:

Why did Yamashita choose a banana for the mother?

What is the significance of the names of the characters in this chapter?

Synopsis: This chapter is done in the form of a comic strip. Chiquita Banana, an anthropomorphic banana, has Siamese twin daughters. Chiquita’s lover, Don Juan Samuel, has been pimping out the daughters, in exchange for drugs and good grades. Both twins have poor self-esteem, and want to do more with themselves. The daughters complain to Chiquita, because one is losing her hard edge by the good grades, and the other is losing her work ethic because of the drugs, so Chiquita decides to put an end to things. She invites her lover over, and pulls a gun on him. But he turns the gun on her, and kills her. Chiquita’s sister, Mulan Rouge arrives, and slices Don Juan in half. She then splits the twins from each other.

Chapter 7: Doppelgangsters

Discussion questions:

Why did Gerald take the bartenders place?

Which of the men which Gerald ran into do you think was really his doppelganger?

What was the purpose of the poetry in this chapter?

Synopsis: Gerald tells his boss, Jack Sung, that he is giving up drugs, booze, and women, and decides to take a journey to make things up to his mother. A strong parallel is drawn between Gerald and Iron Ox in this chapter. His saxophones are even referred to as axes. In order to begin this journey, Gerald steals a car and some money from his girlfriend, Sandy Hu. He remembers his promise, and passes on taking alcohol and drugs. On his journey, he runs into a man who is carrying two black cases, and has a conversation with him. The man introduces himself as Gerald K. Li. He claims his “axes” are in the case. Gerald says the man cannot be Gerald, as he is white, while the real Gerald is Chinese. The man replies that whites can be Chinese, but Chinese cannot be white. Gerald begins to wonder if this man really is the Chinese version of himself. He finds out how much the man made at a gig, which is way more than Gerald ever makes, and decides to rob him. There is a poem about two martial arts forms, one called Hung Gar, the other Pa Kwa. The man only has $10 on him, so Gerald also takes his instrument cases as collateral. He arrives at a diner, where a fellow Chinese man recognizes him. He says that people call him the Gerald K. Li of the area, and convinces Gerald to play a show at the local club. The man is unable to get a large crowd for Gerald, and we are given another martial arts poem. Gerald does not mind that not many people went to the show, and even gives the local man one of the cases he took from his imposter. Gerald checks into a hotel and opens the remaining instrument case, and discovers it is filled with cocaine. We are told by the narrator that the local man Gerald gave the first case to will be arrested for drug possession and for assaulting the man Gerald stole the case from. Gerald continues his journey by entering a bar, where he finds a man who looks identical to him. This man confuses Gerald for his twin, a poet who has done illegal things, and tells him he is ready to switch places with him, and take his place in leading the social revolution. Gerald agrees to this, and begins to live as the bartender. One day, a masked figure arrives. There is one last martial arts poem. Then the figure reveals itself to be Sandy Hu, who takes her car keys back, and leaves with the car.

Chapter 8: Dance

Discussion Questions:

Who was the dance really about?

Why did Yamashita format the chapter the way she did?

Synopsis: Sandy Hu decides to choreograph and perform a dance with Gerald, about the life of the outlaw Li K’wei, though Gerald believes it to be about someone named Mama Rose. They perform the dance in the basement of I-Hotel. The page is set up in 3 columns, with the middle column always telling us what music is playing, or what dance steps are being taken. The other columns alternate, with one telling about the life and history of Li K’wei’s blind mother, or Mama Rose, and the other expressing thoughts or emotions related to what’s happening. Mama Rose was raised in an internment camp. Growing up, she had no friends. She eventually met a man her family did not approve of, and was sent to live with her aunt. But she eloped with him, disowning her family. Throughout her life, Mama Rose went to college, did both woman and Asian studies, became introduced to the jazz culture, fell into drugs, got into theater and dance, and continued her interest in Asian culture and women’s rights, as well as doing a lot of traveling.

Chapter 9: Yellow Peril

Discussion Question:

Why does Gerald not seem to like the song?

Synopsis: Gerald attends the second annual picnic for the Bay Area Asian American Coalition Against the War. At the event, a band called the Yellow Pearl plays a song about Li K’wei. Before the song begins, Aiko, a member of the band, dedicates the song to the Vietnamese people and their struggle for liberation. At the end of the song, Gerald does not seem too pleased with the song, asking who wrote it.

Chapter 10: Iron Ox

Discussion Questions:

What is Gerald’s link to the outlaw Iron Ox?

Synopsis: The narrator starts off by telling us that the radical leftist group, the JTC, has shut down and gone underground. Sen Hama, an artist, starts an art collective, in an effort to shift the direction the activism was going in. One night, Gerald wanders into Sen’s studio, thinking something is going on there, and finds that Sen is making a poster for his next show. Gerald says it will be his last show, as he does not want to sell out. The two uninstall a bathtub, which the narrator calls an iron ox, and throw it out the window of the studio, dropping it over two feet. The two check the wreckage out, and Gerald is inspired to become a gardener. They create a garden next to the studio, with Gerald making his own greenhouse, and it quickly becomes a community garden. The garden is the only place anyone can hear Gerald play music anymore. The narrator then invites us, the readers, to join the band of outlaws.

Overall questions:

What are the recurring characters’ such as Gerald and Sandy Hu’s relationship to the 108 outlaws? Are they members?

Why did Yamashita choose to make weapons and instruments so interchangeable in this novella?

(Edited by Hasan)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

5. Clio & Abra

Poetry boys: Jack sung, George Baso, Paul Lin were part of a group on the roof of the I-hotel that were basically a group of scraps that just shot the wind, mooning the moon, passed around the Christian brothers, cursing at the moon…etc. It then switches to Clio and Abra, who talk about their band and how they are looking for a drummer now. They create an analogy of the body in relations with music.

• “When we write poetry, we write about how we love you. Finally we stand up to the white man, and you blame us for your bound feet?”—Pg563

• What does the quote above signify?

6. Bar &Huo Lian

Starts out on Columbus at the city lights. The story then changes to second person as if you met the author. It transfers to Paul, the editor who wonders a lot about his employee’s health and wellness. Then, a rehearsal appears, and Huo Lian. This story seems to be a dialogue between you and the author. They start talking about South Korean and its wealth standards

• “Make love, not war. What does this really mean?”—pg 565

• The question, how did Bard and Huo Lian live out this quote? Or failed to?

7. Renee & Ken

Ken achieves a law degree, passes the California bar, then finds a job in Asian Law Caucus. In the beginning he was a model employee. He then meets Renee. They both get into a huge tussle. Ken believes that Renee did some pretty bad things to him, and so he throws a temper tantrum. This chapter is quite interesting because it talked about how these immigrants deal with such jobs and future. Renee and ken desperately wants a child.

• “Through vision of human perfection, she’s the incarnation of a previous existence of passion and loss, and the more she rights her karma, the greater and more bitter her failure.”—Pg. 573-74
• “Full engagement with life. An act of sacrifice to open the heart to love. —Pg. 575

• What does these quotes above mean?

Reading Guide to Fall of the I-Hotel: 1973 by Hasan

Reading Guide to Fall of the I-Hotel: 1973 by Hasan

1973: Int’l Hotel


This novella centers around four main characters: Ria Ishi, Wayne Takabayashi, Stony Ima, and Jack Denny. Ria Ishi is a UC Berkeley graduate and a social activist. Wayne Takabayashi is the son of Dr. Tom Takabayashi, the dean of the defunct Berkley school of Criminology. Stony Ima is an American social activist whose father is originally from Amami. Jack Denny is a Native American from Oklahoma and is also a Vietnam War veteran. The novella starts with how all of the characters first met on account of their voyage to Alcatraz, then deals with certain portions of lives of the individual characters, and again ends with the reunion of all the characters in Tule Lake.

1: Turtle Island


The chapter starts with Ria, Wayne and Stony meeting together for the first time in order to go to the Alcatraz Island. Since it was illegal to go there, they had to avoid the coast guards. They come across Jack and borrow his boat, Turtle. When a coast guard spots the group, they pretend to be Japanese fisherman and sets sail for the Alcatraz Island. On their way, the group learns from Jack about the Modoc battles with the US government in Tule Lake in vivid details. Upon reaching the island, the group learns of a myth about how the Earth was created from the Native Americans. Three animals went in search of land. The amphibian among the animals found a plug of soil, and finally the Earth was born from the tiny plug of soil from the turtle’s back. The chapter ends with a group of Native Americans leaving the island on Jack’s boat, Turtle.

Memorable quotes:

“Winning a battle could get you a peace treaty, but not necessarily the one you want and not necessarily the one they’ll keep. The price of peace, if it has one, is never cheap.” (379)

“It was another Apollo, another moonwalk. On Earth, Indians walked on Alcatraz. ‘One step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’” (381)

“History tells us that the white man’s pride is located in his laws, such that he will justify his pride and his greed, his great paternity and his superiority, with the great writ of his laws. Everything must follow accordingly. The white man will only give up or lose something if forced to do so by his own laws; in this way, he cannot lose face and continues secure in his pride that this law must be just.” (381)

Discussion Questions:

We learn of a myth about Earth’s creation that that the Earth was born from a tiny plug of soil on the back of a turtle and three animals who go in the search of land. (381) What is the significance of this myth?

Why was Jack comfortable when the Indians left with his boat? (382)

2: Crane


This chapter deals with two stories. First, it shows how the viewpoints of Ria Ishi on how to change the world changed. Second, it tells us through the story of Mrs. Lee how a group of Chinese women, who were previously exploited, were empowered. Through this chapter, we also learn that the I Hotel was not just a place for old manongs to live. It was also a source of livelihood for Asian American community, because it housed many small businesses.

Ria Ishi, a UC Berkeley graduate, gets a job as an interpreter in a sewing factory. In her job, she notices how Chinese women working in the factory were exploited. The worst part is that these female workers do not even realize that their employers are taking advantage of them; they simply accept the cold harsh reality that they do not have many opportunities, simply because they cannot speak English. Later, when an order for a ‘Mao jacket’ comes their way, Ria, along with a group of her fellow students and Chinese female factory workers, starts their own factory, ‘I-Hotel Cooperative Garment Factory’ at the basement of the I Hotel. At the beginning, the Chinese women allow the students to deal with the planning, orders, and the finances. However, soon they realize that their business acumen is far more superior to that of the students and directs the students to get orders for specific tasks. They also realize how the manufacturers and the retailers are exploiting them; these middle men buy their works at a cheap price but sell them at exorbitant rates to the final consumers. They understand that have replaced the contractors in the form of students, and now need to do get rid of the manufacturers. Eventually, Mrs. Lee takes on the responsibility of organizing the weekly meetings from the students, and decides that they require lessons for English language and American history, and facilities for child care. The women workers even come to a direct confrontation with a manufacturer and call him ‘cheap.’ Through financial independence, the women realize about the rights that they are entitled to. Meanwhile, Ria Ishi also learns that she cannot just stick to socialism and needs to employ capitalistic models to run factories. This leads to a clash of ideologies with Olivia. At the end of the chapter, Mrs. Lee acquires American citizenship and goes to child care services, shutting down the factory. She tries to convince Ria to pursue her studies further.

Memorable quotes:

“This dress we make for $2! Look, selling for $30!...First, we get rid of contractor. Next we get rid of manufacturer.” (387)

“Believe me, I struggle with this every day, but it’s not like textbook Lenin.” (388)

“Listen, I tell you something. American Revolution is happening two hundred years ago. What’s two hundred years?...But,… first time is the last time. Can’t make same revolution twice. Look at me…I know what you think, but I am not the revolution.” (391)

“I know students think East is Red, but this is not the East. So you better go. Go figure out a new way.” (392)

“We say that the sun rises in the East, but now we live in the West. Now I am American. I’m not leaving. You go make a sun rise in the West.” (392)

Discussion Questions:

Mrs. Lee observes: “First, we get rid of contractor. Next we get rid of manufacturer.” Ria thinks: “But could they make 100,000 dresses for national distribution? One dress at a time.” (387) Do you think it is possible to get rid of contractors, manufacturers so that all the profits go to the working class?

After making reference to the East and the West, Mrs. Lee says: “You study, you find out.” What is Mrs. Lee asking Ria to find out?

Do you think women empowerment comes with financial independence of women?

3: Cormorant


This chapter tells us about Stony Ima’s journey to discover his roots in Amami. Stony comes across an injured Jack and admits him to a hospital. Jack requests Stony to sell his station wagon and keep half of the money for himself and the other half for Jack in a bank account. When Stony visits Jack in the hospital to give Jack his cheque book, Jack confides in Stony about his dream of Stony’s visiting Japan. Accordingly, Stony goes to Japan. First, he visits the proposed site of the First Narita Airport at Sanrizuka, to help the farmers protest the construction of the airport in their farmlands, and meets Atari. He learns that Atari also hails from Amami, just like Stony’s father and learns the directions on how to get to Amami. Later, when the protests at Sanrizuka come to no avail, Stony visits various places in Japan, including Kyoto in order to see a particular Buddhist statue. While wondering the streets of Kyoto to find the hidden message from the Buddha, he buys a shakuhachi (a type of Japanese bamboo flute). After playing the flute, he is overwhelmed with emotions and decides to go to his parental house at Amami. In Amami, an old woman gets shocked to see Stony and flings herself at his feet, mistaking Stony for her long gone husband (Stony’s father). That night, Stony dreams about an old man with his exact same voice. The following morning, he spends some time in the sea beach in a contemplative mood. Finally, Stony decides to prolong his stay in Amami for a considerable period of time.

Discussion Questions:

What was the significance of the Buddhist figure to Stony Ima? (396)

“This is the real thing.” (391) Did playing the shakuhachi convince Stony, who usually plays the yokobue, to go back to Amami finally?

“That night he dreamed a dream. He saw himself staring at himself in a mirror in a future time, an older man much like his father as an older man, or was it his father? But it was his own voice, his breath pushed through his lips that formed the question in the mirror: Is that all there is?” (398) What was the meaning behind his dream? Why did this dream convince him to stay longer than he intended in Amami?

How is the journey of Stony Ima to discover his roots back in Amami related with I Hotel or the civil rights movement in the Bay Area at that time?

4: Muskrat


The main character of this chapter is Wayne Takabayashi. This chapter deals with Wayne’s encounters with three different people, his father, Roshni, and Alma, at various stages in his life.

The chapter starts with Wayne’s taking coffee to his father, Dr. Takabyashi, who is alone in a cold cramped room in a building which was previously the Berkeley School of Criminology. Here, he learns about two stories from his father. First, his father tells him about the injustices meted out to his family during their internment at Tule Lake during World War II. Wayne’ uncle, John Takabayashi, decided to defy the curfew imposed on Japanese Americans. When no police officials took any actions against him, John himself went to the police to get arrested. Eventually, Wayne’s grandparents had to leave the internment camp to testify in his trial. Shockingly, despite being innocent and witnesses in a trial, Wayne’s grandparents were kept in jails, simply because they were Japanese. Second, his father tells him about how Aiko Masaoka wanted an armed revolution and even coerced Wayne into joining her. At the end, Wayne receives from his father a golden pen.

Next, Wayne meets Roshni by accident when he collides into her. Roshni is getting signatures for petitions regarding nuclear disarmament. Wayne learns from Roshni about the hazards associated with nuclear weapons, and decides to help her with the petitions. Through discussions with Roshni, Wayne further learns about Rabindranath Tagore, India’s nuclear tests, and Asian American Political Alliance. Eventually Roshni gives him rakhi as Wayne gives her the golden pen he received from his father.

Finally, Wayne comes across Alma. He learns about how Alma taught children at the Tule Lake internment camp, and how she helped the Japanese Americans integrate in her community after they had returned from the internment camps. Finally, Alma gives Wayne her pink Ford pickup. In exchange, Wayne gives Alma the rakhi that Roshni gave him.

Memorable quotes:

“law never made anyone free. Men make the law free. So citizenship didn’t keep me out of camp, and tenure didn’t guarantee my job.” (402)

“You know, it’s not always where you were born that makes you something.” (407)

“…all wars would end when women could vote because women were the only ones who would vote war out of existence.” (410)

Discussion Questions:

How do you feel about civil disobedience? How would you compare John Takabyashi’s actions against Alma’s actions? Which one do you think is more effective?

“Most Americans are confined to this big island and don’t know where anything is in the world.” (407) Do you agree with Roshni’s observation?

5: Tule Lake


In this chapter, all the main characters of the novella, Stony Ima, Ria Ishi, Jack Denny, and Wayne Takabayashi are reunited in Tule Lake after seven years. The entire group goes to Jack’s house, which has a modified version of sauna. While taking a dip in the sauna, each character experiences a vision, which helps them better understand themselves. Each vision tells us a different story about the injustices that the Japanese American community suffered during World War II. In the first vision, Jack experiences an episode from his uncle Albert’s life. While tracking footsteps, Albert comes across a huge swath of land, surrounded by barbed wires, and guarded by tall towers with soldiers on top. Upon learning from a soldier that the land is the property of US government, he wonders which tribe occupies this reservation camp. In the second vision, Wayne sees a young Alma and his grandmother together in the Tule Lake internment camp. The children in the camp presents Alma a necklace made from white seashells they picked from the barracks. When Alma leaves the camp, Wayne’s grandmother and the children accompany her only to the gate and remain content watching Alma’s figure diminish into the distance. In the third vision, Ria sees how his mother, along with a baby Ria, boards a ship bound to America, leaving behind her father in Japan. In the fourth vision, Stony sees an event from his childhood. Mr Seiji, his father’s friend, visits his mother in the Tule Lake internment camp to offer condolences for his late father. He also presents his mother with a book on tanka poetry, and admits he only came to the camp because he could not return to Japan. At the end of the chapter, Wayne exchanges with Jack his pink Ford pickup for tule, a type of grass that grows in the Tule Lake.

Memorable quotes:

“You might go on a quest to find the answers, but sometimes those ghosts are right there next to you, following you around, holed up inside your being. Then one day, it all gets sweated out.” (419)

Discussion Questions:

“We were always American.” (417) What defines an American?

(Edited by Timothy Peng)