Stealing Buddha's Dinner
By Bich Minh Nguyen
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143113034, 272pp.)
Publication Date: January 29, 2008
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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.
Bich Minh Nguyen teaches literature and creative writing at Purdue University. She lives with her husband, the novelist Porter Shreve, in West Lafayette, Indiana and Chicago.
"Relevant not only to anyone who's ever lusted after the perfect snack . . . but anyone who's ever felt like an outsider."
-San Francisco Chronicle
"A charming memoir . . . Her prose is engaging, precise, compact."
-The New York Times Book Review
"Her typical and not-so-typical childhood experiences give her story a universal flavor."