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Stealing Buddha’s Dinner Book Report

In: English and Literature

Submitted By crazydaisy
Words 280
Pages 2
While preparing for this book report I found an interview posted online with Bich Minh Nguyen. She said that her reasoning behind writing Stealing Buddha’s Dinner was because her childhood was defined by a feeling of isolation. She also said “It does seem easier now for Asian immigrants to be themselves; a good deal of progress has been made since the early 1980s. At the same time I think the negative idea of the “foreigner” still persists—not just for Asian immigrants, but for many nonwhite immigrants and their descendants, people who continue to be asked: “Where are you from? I mean, where are you really from?””
My generalization of this book is that Bich struggled during her childhood simply to “fit in.” Stealing Buddha’s Dinner reminds me so much of The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle. (I used this example in a previous assignment but I feel like it fits so well into the main theme of this course.) Bich is fixated with the idea of trying to assimilate herself into the American culture. In The Mixed-Up Chameleon, the chameleon (Bich) sees all of the animals at the zoo and (her peers) wants to “be like them” in some way. She goes to great lengths to eat American food and take an American name and dress the way other Americans do. I see many similarities between the feelings of lonely segregation that Bich felt and those of the students discussed in the case studies throughout our textbook.

Works Cited
Nguyen, B. M. (2008). Stealing buddha's dinner: A memoir. Penguin Group USA.
Stealing buddha’s dinner . (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.us.penguingroup.com/static/rguides/us/stealing_buddhas_dinner.html

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