Bento Box in the Heartland

Bento Box in the Heartland

My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America

Book - 2006
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While growing up in Versailles, an Indiana farm community, Linda Furiya tried to balance the outside world of Midwestern America with the Japanese traditions of her home life. As the only Asian family in a tiny township, Furiya's life revolved around Japanese food and the extraordinary lengths her parents went to in order to gather the ingredients needed to prepare it. As immigrants, her parents approached the challenges of living in America, and maintaining their Japanese diets, with optimism and gusto. Furiva, meanwhile, was acutely aware of how food set her apart from her peers: She spent her first day of school hiding in the girls' restroom, examining her rice balls and chopsticks, and longing for a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. Bento Box in the Heartland is an insightful and reflective coming-of-age tale. Beautifully written, each chapter is accompanied by a family recipe of mouth-watering Japanese comfort food.
Publisher: Emeryville, CA : Seal Press : Distributed by Publishers Group West, [2006], ©2006
ISBN: 9781580051910
158005191X
Branch Call Number: 921 Furiy
Characteristics: 307 pages ; 21 cm

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Versailles, Indiana, was nowhere near as cosmopolitan as its French namesake, so when the author's mother insists on packing very wonderful and very Japanese food for her daughter's lunch, young Linda can only long for peanut butter-and-jelly to be like the other kids. Older and wiser, she reflec... Read More »


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p
pokano
Jun 11, 2011

This is the memoir of a Japanese American girl whose family was the only Asian family in a small town in Indiana. In her childhood, her main connection with her ethnicity and her parents is food, and the book contains many Japanese recipes that I'm eager to try. Her background is also unusual for Japanese Americans--her mother is an issei and her father, although a natural born American, was educated in Japan and served in the Japanese military as a draftee. Japanese Americans have so few writers with which we can identify--I enjoyed this book a great deal, even though I did not experience any of the ethnic identity issues the writer did.

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