Fresh Off the Boat
A MemoirBook - 2013
NATIONAL BESTSELLER - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY "KIRKUS REVIEWS"
Eddie Huang is the thirty-year-old proprietor of Baohaus--the hot East Village hangout where foodies, stoners, and students come to stuff their faces with delicious Taiwanese street food late into the night--and one of the food world's brightest and most controversial young stars. But before he created the perfect home for himself in a small patch of downtown New York, Eddie wandered the American wilderness looking for a place to call his own.
Eddie grew up in theme-park America, on a could-be-anywhere cul-de-sac in suburban Orlando, raised by a wild family of FOB ("fresh off the boat") hustlers and hysterics from Taiwan. While his father improbably launched a series of successful seafood and steak restaurants, Eddie burned his way through American culture, defying every "model minority" stereotype along the way. He obsessed over football, fought the all-American boys who called him a chink, partied like a gremlin, sold drugs with his crew, and idolized Tupac. His anchor through it all was food--from making Southern ribs with the Haitian cooks in his dad's restaurant to preparing traditional meals in his mother's kitchen to haunting the midnight markets of Taipei when he was shipped off to the homeland. After misadventures as an unlikely lawyer, street fashion renegade, and stand-up comic, Eddie finally threw everything he loved--past and present, family and food--into his own restaurant, bringing together a legacy stretching back to China and the shards of global culture he'd melded into his own identity.
Funny, raw, and moving, and told in an irrepressibly alive and original voice, "Fresh Off the Boat "recasts the immigrant's story for the twenty-first century. It's a story of food, family, and the forging of a new notion of what it means to be American.
Praise for "Fresh Off the Boat"
"Brash and funny . . . outrageous, courageous, moving, ironic and true."--"New York Times Book Review"
"Bawdy and frequently hilarious . . . a surprisingly sophisticated memoir about race and assimilation in America . . . as much James Baldwin and Jay-Z as Amy Tan . . . rowdy and] vital . . . It's a book about fitting in by not fitting in at all."--Dwight Garner, "The""New York Times"
"Uproariously funny . . . emotionally honest."--"Chicago Tribune"
"Huang is a fearless raconteur. His] writing is at once hilarious and provocative; his incisive wit pulls through like a perfect plate of dan dan noodles."--"Interview"
"Although writing a memoir is an audacious act for a thirty-year-old, it is not nearly as audacious as some of the things Huang did and survived even earlier. . . . Whatever he ends up doing, you can be sure it won't look or sound like anything that's come before. A single, kinetic passage from "Fresh Off the Boat" . . . is all you need to get that straight.""--Bookforum"
From Library Staff
Eddie Huang tells the story of his growing up as a Taiwanese/Chinese American.
now a TV series, Tuesdays evening, on ABC.
From the critics
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I was a Chinese-American kid raised by hip-hop and basketball with screaming, yelling, abusive parents in the background. If that makes me a rotten banana, well, tell it like it is.
From the people at Christian Fellowship to First Academy to my parents to Confucius to thousands of years of ass-backwards Chinese thinking, I knew how it felt. Everything my parents did to me and their parents did to them was justified under the banner of Tradition, Family, and Culture.
Important distinction. Note that I say “a voice” not “the voice.” I don’t speak for all Asian Americans, I speak for a few rotten bananas like me.
My mom always wanted to send food back. Everything on the side, some things hot, some things cold, no MSG, less oil, more chilis, oh, and some vinegar please. Black vinegar with green chilis if you have it, if not, red vinegar with ginger, and if you don’t have that, then just white vinegar by itself and a can of Coke, not diet because diet causes cancer.
sell. I spent the first five years of my life handcuffed to a playpen in the middle of this mini-mall furniture-store office. Before I even knew about guns, I was trying to shoot myself.
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