Daughter of Heaven: A Memoir with Earthly Recipes by Leslie Li

By Leslie Li

During this robust, touching memoir of a severely acclaimed Chinese-American author, style turns into the keeper of reminiscence and nutrition the keeper of tradition while Nai-nai, her notable grandmother, arrives from mainland China.

Leslie Li’s paternal grandfather, Li Zogren, was once China’s first democratically elected vp, to whom Chiang Kai-shek left regulate of the rustic whilst he fled to Formosa in 1949. 9 years later, Li’s spouse, Nai-nai, involves reside together with her son’s kinfolk in long island urban, bringing a complete new international of points of interest, smells, and tastes as she fast takes keep an eye on of the kitchen. Nai-nai’s tantalizingly unique cooking opens up the center and brain of her American granddaughter to her chinese language heritage—and to the realm. via her grandmother’s conventional delicacies Leslie bridges the cultural divide in an the United States during which she is a minority—as good because the becoming hole at domestic among her inflexible, conventional chinese language father and her innovative American-born mom. Interspersed all through her intimate and relocating memoir are the author’s own recipes, such a lot from Nai-nai’s kitchen, that upload a scrumptious measurement to the paintings. A loving ode to relations and nutrients, Daughter of Heaven is a beautiful mix of reminiscence, historical past, and the senses.

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I shrugged and blinked, to say I wasn’t sure what she was talking about. At thirty, you put lots of faith in misunderstanding and the magic of ignorance: it’s as though admitting to gravity means you’re going to fall, or saying the word “tuberculosis” means immediate fever and a cough. In fact, a personal hardship, my own girlfriend had been reading only him, steadily, languorously. One afternoon, she took a cigarette with her to the kitchen to cool off, and I found this e-mail on her computer.

My own anxieties are many,” she wrote. “My brother was a hilarious guy, a quirky, generous spirit, who happened to be a genius and suffer from depression. There was a lot of happiness in his life. He loved to be silly, he made exquisite fun of himself and others. Part of me still expects to wake up from this, but everywhere I turn is proof that he’s really most sincerely dead. ” That’s the other thing this book would like to be: a record of what David was like, when he was thirty-four and all his cards had turned over good, every one of his ships had sailed back into harbor.

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