A saucy, comical retrospective on growing up Korean in the United States.
Humorist Choi (Happy Birthday or Whatever, 2007) brings together the kind of letters we all long to write but don’t, as well as irreverent essays that poke fun at a hodgepodge of moments in her life. From questioning whether her father is gay (based on his endless love of musicals) to the frustrating and embarrassing moments when her extended Korean family endlessly question Choi about her rapidly diminishing ability to bear children (based on her age and lack of a husband), the author reveals all. Refreshingly honest, she perhaps offers a few too many intimate details: One essay centers around her inability to find underwear in the United States that will fit her "diminutive, flat Korean ass (like little rice cake)" and reveals that she and her mother wish to be buried with their panties so they "can have them in the afterlife"—it's that difficult to find the perfect fit. Other subjects for introspection include childhood camping and road trips (carsickness occupied more of her time than viewing the Grand Canyon); learning to drive, which required umpteen hours of reading the manual and having every aspect of the car explained before she was allowed behind the wheel; natural disasters real and imaginary, which she survived by "a miracle or in death or something in between"; and the family's hexagonal dining table, which fell into disrepair and yet was never thrown away. Whether amused, offended, weary or exasperated, Choi delivers her autobiographical anecdotes with a candid punch and a Korean slant.
Will leave readers laughing one moment, bemused the next.