Avon, Jan 2004, 13.95, 344 pp.
Third generation San Franciscan twenty something Lindsey Owyang is a Chinese American wage slave earner working the menial tasks at Vegan magazine though she might be considered by much of the staff as an evil invader. She likes red meat, wears make-up and even has a bit of rabbit fur on a sweater – no doubt heresy at Vegan. Lindsey has no identity crisis as she knows who she is. Any Asian who can quote the dialogue of the Brady Bunch, but could not cite one word from the Han Dynasty is obviously a Twinkie, yellow on the outside; white on the inside.
However, having been raised on Spaghettios and not rice, Lindsey seeks a stronger tie with her heritage and would not mind finding the love of a lifetime too. Caucasian males need not apply because she does not trust the obsession many have with female Asians. Still, Miles Olin, a closet carnivore, does look good for a white man, but any office romance with him will interfere with her quest for cultural awareness
Though the heroine is third generation Chinese-American, any ethnic adjective would fit the bill as America has the tendency to assimilate the third generation, who is more McDonalds than old country. Lindsey is a great protagonist whose attitude immensely differs from her mother that is as wide as the Atlantic and from her grandmother which is as long as the Pacific. She is the center that keeps the tale from becoming a soggy noodle as Lindsey seeks to merge the dim sun culture of her heritage with her fast food childhood.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner