I love books about half-American half-some-other-culture people because I am one of them. My Japanese mother still causes me consternation and I have been left with strange words and phrases known only to our family, such as “musical bridges” to describe those certain bridges that make noise as your car tires roll over them and “yellow voice,” meaning a high, nasal and usually off-key singing (who, me?). Not to mention odd food combinations: “sushi” with deli ham and mustard, seaweed sprinkles and sliced bologna on rice with soysauce, Spaghetti-o’s on rice for that ultra carb lunch. And so I love it when others share their unusual melding of cultures, usually resulting in both the comical and the frustrating. I feel a bonding of experience.
Last week I mentioned Iranian-American Firoozeh Duma’s latest book, Laughing Without an Accent. Her earlier book, Funny in Farsi, is on my reading shelf and I am currently working on Leslie Li’s Daughter of Heaven. I have greatly enjoyed Bento Box in the Heartland by Linda Furiya and the children’s books by Grace Li: Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat. If anyone has read other good cross-cultural books, let me know of them!
Related to having parents that are from the “old country” is that other problem we have of parents being of the “older generation.” Therefore, most of us have funny (or maybe not so funny!) stories of family life to share. I am only lately telling my daughters some not-so-funny-at-the-time stories from my childhood… the home haircuts, the prom debacle… Finally I can look back and laugh!