Monday, December 08, 2008
In college I was known as the honorary Asian because most of my friends claimed some Asian heritage. My best friend from childhood is Japanese and when I moved to New York City, my two best friends at work, the ones who always convinced me to go eat fried chicken at Popeye's in Times Square over our lunch break, were Chinese and Filipino.
So it should come as no surprise that I feel like I know a thing or two about Asian culture and heritage. Yet, if you ask me to name a good contemporary Asian memoir, my mind goes blank. Why is that? Are there many Asian memoirs out there and I've just missed them all? And I know Asian is a huge umbrella to lump so many different types of people, but in the book world, that's the umbrella we work with.
I am planning on reading a lot over the Christmas holidays while I am in Spain and one book I'm really looking forward to devouring is an Asian memoir I stumbled across at the First Person Arts Festival here in Philly, last month. The book is called, Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love and the Search for Home, by Kim Sunee. The story, like my own, is about Sunee's search for identity, but the similarities stop there. Sunee was born in South Korea, abandoned at age three, adopted by an American couple, and raised in New Orleans. The book covers her childhood and then the ten years she spent living the good life as the girlfriend of a wealthy French businessman who loved to cook. Food, race, identity and France? Sounds delicious to me.
So when I finish that book, what should I read next? What other Asian memoirs can you recommend? And if you too can't think of one, why is that?
P.S. This just in. The Washington Post declared Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain one of the Best Books of 2008! I feel so Sally Field, They like me, They really like me! I am thrilled and honored and amazed.