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Stealing Buddha's Dinner
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Stealing Buddha's Dinner

Description

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


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