Books by Holly Uyemoto

GO by Holly Uyemoto
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 13, 1995

The young Uyemoto's second novel is amazingly weightless. Narrator Wilhelmina is on the cusp of turning 21 when she has a nervous breakdown brought on by a break-up with her boyfriend. Her response is to begin taking 1,200 milligrams of lithium a day and mope around a lot, making statements like ``College relationships are such a huge drag that...I'm vowing I won't date again until I'm thirty.'' Uyemoto (Rebel Without a Clue, 1989) has tried to create a sardonic character (Ö la Ellis, McInerney, etc.), but she's blind to her own missteps. Depictions of college life are trite, and Wilhelmina's nicknaming her activist-ridden campus ``PCU'' is beyond tired. There's nary a Generation-X problem that Uyemoto doesn't mention. ``Pregnancy, abortion, breakdown. What's next, locusts?'' wonders Wilhelmina at one point. Not quite, but there's acquaintance rape, the remembered death of a cousin, and plenty of therapy. Everything is related with the same level of urgency as Wilhelmina's description of the flatulent nighttime duets that she and her ex-boyfriend first found amusing but then battled over. What novelty there is here comes in the form of her Japanese-American family, particularly her sharp-tongued mother, who was born in an American internment camp. Anecdotes like her grandfather's tale about giant sea turtles who frightened the inhabitants of his native village in Japan are promisingly mythic, but they're pushed aside by all the self-centeredness. Ultimately the family stories don't make up for the fact that this narrator is still too close to first love to see the humor in it and still youthful enough to find depression hip. ``At twenty-one,'' Wilhelmina promises near the end, ``I'm finally hanging my defective adolescent dreams out to dry.'' We hope so. (Author tour) Read full book review >