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Stealing Buddha's Dinner
by Bich Minh Nguyen

Published: 2008-01-29
Paperback : 272 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
As a Vietnamese girl coming of age in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nguyen is filled with a rapacious hunger for American identity, and in the pre-PC-era Midwest (where the Jennifers and Tiffanys reign supreme), the desire to belong transmutes into a passion for American food. More exotic- ...
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Introduction

As a Vietnamese girl coming of age in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nguyen is filled with a rapacious hunger for American identity, and in the pre-PC-era Midwest (where the Jennifers and Tiffanys reign supreme), the desire to belong transmutes into a passion for American food. More exotic- seeming than her Buddhist grandmother’s traditional specialties, the campy, preservative-filled “delicacies” of mainstream America capture her imagination.

In Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, the glossy branded allure of Pringles, Kit Kats, and Toll House Cookies becomes an ingenious metaphor for Nguyen’s struggle to become a “real” American, a distinction that brings with it the dream of the perfect school lunch, burgers and Jell- O for dinner, and a visit from the Kool-Aid man. Vivid and viscerally powerful, this remarkable memoir about growing up in the 1980s introduces an original new literary voice and an entirely new spin on the classic assimilation story.

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by aperrigo (see profile) 12/02/09

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Food
by aperrigo (see profile) 12/02/09
Just for fun, a couple of us brought Pringles, 7-Up, Toll-House cookies, and candy!

Member Reviews

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  "Stealing Buddha's Dinner"by aperrigo (see profile) 12/02/09

Our group found quite a lot to talk about in this account of a Vietnamese refugee family who found themselves transplanted among the mostly Dutch residents of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Although many sections... (read more)

 
  "It's about more than food!"by joleen (see profile) 06/02/08

Although each chapter is titled with something about food and food is a main theme throughout the book, the book is much more than a reflection of food. We found layers of much more, any immigrants struggle... (read more)

 
  "A search to fit in somewhere finds you might have searched in the wrong places"by pls (see profile) 06/02/08

This book was very well written. It causes us to question whether in our never ending search to "fit in" somewhere, we are missing what really matters in life. My favorite parts were the way... (read more)

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