AUTHOR: Kanara Ty
ISSUE: Spring 2013
“Marie Lu is at her best in Prodigy, the sequel to her New York Times bestseller Legend, giving us the most exciting follow-up to a debut novel the young adult genre has seen in a long time.”
One of the biggest debates concerning Asian culture has been how Asian parent’s raise their children. The phrase “strict Asian parent” has become a well-known stereotype and yet many of us can find some truth in this. It is said that Asians pride themselves in their academic achievements and are generally pushed towards a successful career. But what is the price for this success? How often do we hear of Asians who are allowed only a limited social life and pushed towards their books instead. How many times have we heard the story of an Asian forced to pursue a career their parents want rather than follow their dreams. Is it worth it?
Recently, this debate has stretched onto literature. “Tiger Mom” is the new phrase to describe a strict Chinese mother. The term was coined by Amy Chua in her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother published in 2011. Chua writes of her own experiences dealing with a Tiger mom and argues that she is thankful for her upbringing. She is so thankful to her mother’s methods that she has become a Tiger mom herself. Needless to say, Chua’s praise of the Tiger mom lifestyle has become quite the controversy.
This led author Kim Wong Keltner to respond with her own book titled Tiger Babies Strike Back. Keltner delves into her own strict upbringing and claims that her book “examines why generations of kids have been made to feel inferior, isolated, suffocated, and humiliated in dogged pursuit of one goal: making their elders look good.” The book describes the various consequences of a tiger mom environment and how a child can be damaged by this way of life.
Keltner claims she meant nothing personal by her book and she is merely offering an alternative perspective to the “Tiger” lifestyle. Similarly, Chua comments that ultimately both authors come to the same conclusion- if the tiger-mom lifestyle works, it works brilliantly. If it fails, it is detrimental.
Both authors have brought up various points to their argument and have shown us that the debate of Asian parenting is far from over. Tell us what you think.
This lady might be your mother, your aunt, or your homely friend that loves to cook and do household work. She bakes the best cookies, has the best dinner parties, and her house is spotless. She is the spitting image of Martha Stewart. Whomever it is, this is the perfect gift guide to help find that motherly woman in your life.
Gifts Under $50:
Dish Play Gloves: They’re cute, and they bring entertainment to cleaning the house. $12 at Urban Outfitters.
Wok Set: Perfect for cooking those Asian dishes. Good for stir-frying, sauteing, deep-frying, steaming, and parboiling. This set allows you to cook with chopsticks, a stainless steel tempura rack, bamboo/stainless turner, and ladle a wooden steam rack. Can be found at Crate & Barrel for only $49.95!
The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook: Written by Pat Tanumihardja, this cookbook features the real recipes of grandmothers from all over Asia including China, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India. There are many various dishes in here including the Filipino Chicken Adobo, or the Japanese Oyako Donburi. Can be found at Barnes & Noble for $20.24.
Other Great Gift Ideas:
5×7 Lace Medallion Rug: Beautiful for any place in the house. $89 at Urban Outfitters.
Caterer’s Flatware 3-Piece Box Set of 12: 12 each of forks, spoons, and knives. $119 at the Pottery Barn.
KitchenAid Classic Plus Stand Mixer: What would a Martha Stewart woman be without a mixer? Comes in 10 speeds and kneads, whups, mixes, blends, and beats. Includes flat beaters, recipe book, dough hooks, and mixing bowl. $229.99 at Target.
Crane & Canopy’s Ashbury Set: Beautiful bedding that starts at $99 from Crane & Canopy.
Zojirushi Rice Cooker: The new age rice cooker made from the Japanese company. Prices vary and can be found on Zojirushi.
Chilewich Gilt Rectangle Placemat: go for the gold when entertaining your guests this holiday season. Available at ShopHorne.
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Cat Seto, co-author of the new and fabulous book, Mom, Inc.. Coming out on Mother’s Day, Mom, Inc., is a practical guide for the entrepreneurial spirited mothers to continue in their dream passions after having children. Cat Seto, along with her co-author Meg Ilasco, shares their tips and tricks on the success of juggling both business and parenting. A well renowned entrepreneur in the stationary and wedding industry, Cat Seto has built a great career; all the while creating a new family. After having a wonderful conversation at her beautiful boutique on Polk St. in San Francisco, CA, her entrepreneurial spirit has inspired me to continue on in my dream career. Read my interview with Cat below!
ISSUE: Spring 2012
STORY: Janice Jann
The next big name in post-apocalyptic teenage angst coming to a bookstore (and a big screen) near you? Look no further than Marie Lu.
Yes, Marie Lu’s debut novel Legend is set in a bleak, distant future where, yes, there are warring factions and, yes, precocious teenagers must face obstacles where lives are at stake, but don’t think Lu is just another writer jumping on the Hunger Games bandwagon.
The 27-year-old Chinese American author was actually in the middle of shopping around another book — a novel centered on Mozart’s sister —when she decided to write Legend, a post-apocalyptic, Les Miserables-inspired saga. Though Lu never intended to write a young adult novel, she says, “ever since I was in high school, my protagonists have always been teens. It’s a very interesting time in life where you have more responsibilities, and mixing it up with hormones makes for fun ways to explore characters.”
The book’s film rights were scooped up within weeks and Legend has been receiving rave reviews for its well-blended combination of substance and suspense. Lu is grateful for all the positive response. “[The feedback] has been really good,” she says. “I love hearing most from teens. They’re so direct with their answers. ‘I like this character, and I don’t like that one.’”
Lu may seem young to already have found such literary success, but the payoff resulted from years of hard work. Since the age of 14, Lu would begin writing around 4:30 each morning. She wrote during her undergrad years at USC, wrote throughout her stint as a video game art director, and continues to keep her early-bird writing patterns even though now she can actually afford to spend all day behind her desk. “I got into a rhythm,” says Lu. “Now I can’t write past noon.”
Lu is currently working on the second and third book of the Legend series while juggling a writer’s tour, but she’s handling the pressure in stride. She considers her success icing on top of analready scrumptious cake. “This is something I would have done regardless if I got anywhere with it or not,” she says, “so I just think of that when I write.”
Check out the official trailer for director Wayne Wang‘s (The Joy Luck Club) Snow Flower and the Secret Fan featuring Li Bing Bing (The Forbidden Kingdom), Gianna Jun (My Sassy Girl), and Hugh Jackman.
ANATOMY OF A MURDER: In The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino, reviewer Susan Soon He Stanton discovers that a fascinating study of the human psyche can also be an easy read.
ISSUE: Spring 2011
DEPT: Plugged In
STORY: Susan Soon He Stanton
We know there’s a story inside all of us just itching to get out.
The perfect excuse to sit around and daydream all day, calling it “work” has just arrived: Hyphen magazine and the Asian American Writer’s Workshop are presenting their annual Asian American Short Story Contest – the only national, pan-Asian American writing competition of its kind.
Every now and then, a book comes along that transforms my body and soul–in the literal sense too because I starve and sleep-deprive myself in order to finish reading as soon as possible. There was The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Eyes of the Dragon, Food for Millionaires, Life of Pi, A Great and Terrible Beauty, My Sister’s Keeper, Eat Pray Love, The House of the Spirits, The Harry Potter series and much much more but I am terrible at remembering titles.
The Hunger Games is no exception. In fact, if anything, it is like all my favorite books rolled into one fantastic trilogy. There’s the love story, the action, the drama, the mystery, the conspiracy, the humor, the meaningful message that stays with you on the state of our world.
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