chapter  1
13 Pages

Beyond Identity: Bearings WLAD GODZICH

This chapter focuses on a recent Asian-American novel that makes use of nonlinear temporality but applies it to new ends. The novel is stunningly broad in scope, crossing the limits of race, class, gender, and geopolitics: it focuses on the Asian-American movement from 1968 to 1977, but with an emphasis on alliances with Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans. The chapter argues that this expansive, experimental novel serves not simply to confront racial objections familiar theme in American ethnic literature-but also revolutionary pathos, which refers to the troubled, international history of twentieth-century communism. Then it focuses on International Hotel's engagement with this history via revolutionary pathos-legible in the novel's sense of defeat and collapse, as well as its tendency to connect political struggle. with personal suffering. The novel as a whole relates the rise and apparent fall of Asian-American radicalism, a low-income residence for mostly Chinese and Filipino elderly bachelors and a long-time hub of political mobilization.