Karen Tei Yamashita signing at Palo Alto Obon 2010
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KAREN TEI YAMASHITA is a Japanese American writer from California. She lived for nine years in Brazil, the setting for her first two novels, Through the Arc of the Rain Forest, published in 1990 and awarded the American Book Award and The Janet Heidinger Kafka Award, and Brazil-Maru, named by the Village Voice as one of the 25 best books of 1992. Her third novel set in Los Angeles, Tropic of Orange was published in 1997, and was a finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize. A fourth book of mix genres in fiction and nonfiction, Circle K Cycles, is based on her research of the Brazilian community in Japan and was published in the spring of 2001 by Coffee House Press. Her most recent publication, I Hotel, was published in 2010 and a 2010 National Book Award Finalist. Currently, she is Associate Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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