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Stealing Buddha's Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen
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Stealing Buddha's Dinner

$35.99

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Narrator Alice H. Kennedy

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Length 7 hours 55 minutes
Language English
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Beginning with her family’s harrowing migration out of Saigon in 1975, Stealing Buddha’s Dinner follows Bich Nguyen as she comes of age in the pre-PC-era Midwest. Filled with a rapacious hunger for American identity, Nguyen’s desire to belong transmutes into a passion for American food – Pringles, Kit Kats, and Toll House cookies. More exotic-seeming than her Buddhist grandmother’s traditional specialties, the campy, preservative-filled “delicacies” of mainstream America become an ingenious metaphor for her struggle to become a “real” American. Stealing Buddha’s Dinner is also a portrayal of a diverse family: Nguyen’s hardworking, hard-partying father; pretty sister; wise and nurturing grandmother; and Rosa, her Latina stepmother. And there is the mystery of Nguyen’s birth mother, unveiled movingly over the course of the book. Nostalgic and candid, Stealing Buddha’s Dinner is a unique vision of the immigrant experience and a lyrical ode to how identity is often shaped by the things we long for.

“Her typical and not-so-typical childhood experiences give her story a universal flavor.” – USA Today

“Beautifully written...[Nguyen] is fearless in asserting the specificities of memories culled from early childhood and is, herself, an appealing character on the page...A writer to watch.” – Chicago Tribune

“Perfectly pitched and prodigiously detailed.” – The Boston Globe

Bich Minh Nguyen (pronounced Bit Min New-win) teaches literature and creative writing at Purdue University. She lives with her husband, the novelist Porter Shreve, in Chicago and West Lafayette, Indiana. Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, her first book, was the recipient of the PEN/Jerard Fund Award.

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