Shut Up, You’re Welcome: Thoughts on Life, Death, and Other Inconveniences

Annie Choi, Author
Annie Choi. Touchstone, $15 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-4516-9839-8
Reviewed on: 04/22/2013
Release date: 07/09/2013
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4516-9840-4
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In her second book, Choi (Happy Birthday or Whatever) writes letters to people, places, and things—“Dear San Fernando Valley” or “Hi, Sandwich.” These letters preface personal essays, some only peripherally related, but all of which revolve around quirks of her highly entertaining family. Choi doesn’t shy away from the humor to be found in her experience as a second-generation immigrant—her Korean parents speak broken English throughout, leading Choi’s mother to enthusiastically proclaim she wants to dance the “Macaroon”—but she doesn’t rely on cultural misunderstandings to be the punch line of every joke. Her personality shines throughout, from the neurosis that makes her catalogue every possible disaster that might befall her on public transportation to the stubborn refusal to tolerate nonsense that leads to her mother’s oft-repeated phrase: “Anne, you mouth!” Choi has her occasional missteps—the essay on musical theater, the book’s opener, begins with “I think my dad is gay” and refuses to let the already-tired stereotype die until the very last sentence. But it’s not the jokes that carry this book—Choi’s baffled, exasperated love for her family is at the heart of every anecdote. Even though they did leave her behind on Christmas by mistake. Agent: Douglas Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic. (July)
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