East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres

Andrew Lam, Heyday, $14.95 (169p) ISBN 9781597141383
In this compact collection of short personal essays, Vietnamese-American writer Lam considers how quickly the world (and, more specifically, California) has gone global. The most compelling insights come through reflections on his own family's escape from Vietnam in 1975, the east vs. west cultural differences in raising children, and the narrative potency of Manga. Less imaginative are the author's thoughts on Kung Fu (East influences West influences East), the rise of name brand consumerism in Asia, and his discovery of creative writing. The author's intentions are worthwhile even if his results are often predictable. To marvel that eating pho in nearly every country in the world became possible seemingly overnight sounds trite precisely because we've come to expect it, yet the phenomenon remains worthy of observation and analysis. Lam may not break new ground, but he articulates well what many of us have been thinking. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/20/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
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