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Extended Audio Sample Stealing Buddhas Dinner, by Bich Minh Nguyen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,709 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bich Minh Nguyen Narrator: Alice H. Kennedy Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Beginning with her family’s harrowing migration out of Saigon in 1975, Stealing Buddha’s Dinner follows Bich Nguyen as she comes of age in the pre-PC-era Midwest. Filled with a rapacious hunger for American identity, Nguyen’s desire to belong transmutes into a passion for American food—Pringles, Kit Kats, and Toll House cookies. More exotic-seeming than her Buddhist grandmother’s traditional specialties, the campy, preservative-filled “delicacies” of mainstream America become an ingenious metaphor for her struggle to become a “real” American.

Stealing Buddha’s Dinner is also a portrayal of a diverse family: Nguyen’s hardworking, hard-partying father; pretty sister; wise and nurturing grandmother; and Rosa, her Latina stepmother. And there is the mystery of Nguyen’s birth mother, unveiled movingly over the course of the book.

Nostalgic and candid, Stealing Buddha’s Dinner is a unique vision of the immigrant experience and a lyrical ode to how identity is often shaped by the things we long for.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Melanie Springer | 2/13/2014

    " Great memoir about Vietnamese refugee growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Alicia Williams | 2/8/2014

    " I thought the book was good, but not great. I think it kept my interest because of the 80's references and brought me down memmory lane. As much as she talked about food, I would have thought she would become a culinary chef. But of course I know the food is a metaphor to her struggle to "fit in" Overall the book gives you a good sense of her feelings. Much is relatable to everyone's experience at one time or another. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Sandra Lederman | 2/7/2014

    " "Book Group Choice -- Local author-- Memoir -- Lots of food speak, interesting insight into Grand Rapids -- Look forward to seeing the author in October" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Marge | 2/6/2014

    " Knowing so much about Grand Rapids and the Vietnamese people probably caused me to give an extra star to my rating. But this is a well written book and really gives an inside look to an immigrant's life. This book's content also would increase a person's knowledge on accepting diversity among people. "

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