Jan 10, 2012
“I came of age in the 1980’s, before diversity and multicultural awareness trickled into western Michigan. Before ethnic was cool. Before Thai restaurants became staples in every town.”
In 1975 any American immigrant would have struggled to fit in with her peers and Nguyen is no exception. As a child Nguyen’s family fled Vietnam, abandoning her mother, and spending months in relocation camps. They finally settle in Michigan, and Nguyen’s father further muddies the cultural waters when he marries Rosa, a second-generation Mexican-American.
Stealing Buddha’s Dinner is a fascinating look at one immigrant experience, but also an intimate look at the family dynamics of an extended, culturally bended family.