A Thousand Wings

T. Huo, Author Dutton Books $23.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-525-94280-1
A gay youth comes of age in his native Laos, flees to a Bangkok refugee camp during the Vietnam war, then makes a home for himself in America in this slack first novel from Huo. Fong Mun is a caterer with a past. Living alone in San Francisco, he suppresses his yearning for more human contact than is offered by his job as a caterer. Then he meets Raymond, a young Laotian who has lost his father, and soon Fong Mun is cooking for Raymond and telling him the story of his life. Very informative on the modern history of Laos, and enlivened by wonderful glimpses into a Laotian kitchen, the novel is dramatically limp, loosely constructed and plagued by what seems a proficient but slightly hesitant grasp of English. And so the story of Fong Mun, from his romances and life as a refugee to his success as a caterer and cookbook writer in present-day San Francisco, never quite rises above its beginnings as a charming but inconsequential reminiscence. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1998
Release date: 04/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
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