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Choi's volatile relationship with her domineering, chronically dissatisfied mother is at the heart of this memoir, a funny and often moving account of growing up in a family of Korean immigrants. The parent/child compact in Choi's childhood home was as follows: Mommy and Daddy's job is to take care of the child; the child's job is to study hard, go to Harvard and become a doctor. But Choi and her mother face each other across a seemingly unbridgeable divide: Annie has little desire to embody traditional Korean feminine virtues (and no desire to be a doctor); her mother—to whom social status is everything—cannot countenance her daughter's "shortcomings." Whether recounting the shame of bringing home a B-plus on a fourth-grade spelling test (a clear indicator that she's destined for an inferior institution) or the greater horror of having to wear Korean clothes to American school ("The fun of soup bring Spring" reads one pair of her tracksuit bottoms), Choi adds acid wit—mixed with compassion—to her descriptions of immigrant life in the San Fernando Valley. This is that rare book that delivers more than it promises; Choi tackles the theme of mother/daughter conflict with grace and humor. (Apr.)
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Mining the age-old tensions between mothers and daughters, Choi's strong debut is an uproariously funny memoir of growing up with her Korean American family in Los Angeles. Many stories expose the specific struggles of children of immigrants. When she entered kindergarten, for example, Choi was placed in a remedial learning program because her school didn't have an ESL specialist. Other stories focus on familiar mother-daughter battlegrounds (when her mother asks her to wear an ensemble that Choi describes as "appropriate for Paul Revere's stable boy," she writes, "I felt she had stopped loving me") and on the universal adolescent feelings of a self-described "late bloomer": "Anyone could confuse my back for my chest." From the elementary-school memories of her mother's tough-love academic views--"Don't be baby! You not wear diaper no more. You have to practice so you get A"--to the phone exchanges when college-age Choi learns of her mother's breast cancer, these are indelible, poignant, and often riotously funny scenes of a daughter's frustrations and indestructible love. Gillian Engberg
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I laughed so hard at some parts of this book that I cried. I am also part of an immigrant family and some of these scenarious were so familiar to me. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jennifer A. Hoffman
Annie Choi, or as she prefers, ¢hoi is relatable, funny and witty. I love this boookkkkkkkkkkPublished 10 months ago by Thao Nguyen
After sitting in my book case for a month or so i finally decided to crack it open. I'm sure glad I did! Read morePublished 12 months ago by Couer de pirate
Well written depiction of family life and dysfunction or whatever. This should be read. I think her second book is even better. Read morePublished 13 months ago by A Reader
This woman is hilarious. I don't know why she is not better known. I wish she would develop a stand-up routine.Published 18 months ago by LilyBart
I was hopeful when I looked at some great reviews for this book and purchased it...
I got all comfy in bed to laugh my butt off about the common Asian experiences that... Read more
I enjoyed the book. It was a fun and easy read. It was not my favorite book. I thought the mother was a great character. She was a lot of fun to read about.Published 20 months ago by Lori York
I enjoyed this book very much. I laughed out loud at many points. Annie's conversations with her mother were the best parts of the book! Read morePublished on August 21, 2013 by Girl And Dogs Review
Two words can only describe this book: Funny and Sarcastic.
Annie Choi compiles a wonderful collection of short stories about growing up and family dysfunction. Read more