Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Stealing Buddha's Dinner

This is not a picture of me, but I have pictures from my years in Minnesota that look a lot like this.

I just finished reading Stealing Buddha's Dinner, a memoir by Bich Minh Nguyen (that's the author on the left, with her sister). Her story is a lot like mine: born in Vietnam, left on a ship out of Saigon on April 29, 1975, stopped in the Phillipines and Guam before arriving at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas. From there her family was sponsored to Grand Rapids, mine to Minneapolis. She writes about being one of the few Asian kids in her school, having white, Christian friends who thought Buddha and Asian food were weird, soaking in 80s pop culture and trying to assimilate.

If I were to write a memoir, it might turn out something like this. It was comforting to read a book that seemed familiar and real. I was tempted to send her an email saying "Hey, me too. Be my best friend?" I'll admit that I drafted an email, but didn't press send.

6 comments:

junebee said...

I read a similar books called "Lucky Child" by Loung Ung. She was chosen by her family to flee Camobodia along with her brother and sister-in-law. They moved to Vermont. Of course, the brother and SIL raised her as their child. She had alot of PTSD from the battles in Cambodia. I will have to look for the book you mentiond. Maybe my library has it.

JEM said...

Cool. I will have to check it out.

Julia said...

i will also check this out - sounds great.
you should email her - it will make her feel great to know that she was able to make such a great connection with a reader.
rarely do writers get that kind of affirmation - the kind that matters from a real, live reader.

junebee said...

Our library has 5 copies of this book, all checked out but I will place a hold to read it!

junebee said...

I just finished this book. Thank you for recommending it. I really enjoyed it and finished it quickly. It usually takes me months to finish a book but I finished this in a couple of days.

chanchow said...

Glad you liked it, Junebee! It's defintiely a fun & quick read-- my kind of book. These days if I don't finish a book within a week or two, I never will...