Daughter of Heaven: A Memoir with Earthly Recipes by Leslie Li
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Overview: In this powerful, touching memoir of a critically acclaimed Chinese-American writer, taste becomes the keeper of memory and food the keeper of culture when Nai-nai, her extraordinary grandmother, arrives from mainland China.
Leslie Li’s paternal grandfather, Li Zogren, was China’s first democratically elected vice president, to whom Chiang Kai-shek left control of the country when he fled to Formosa in 1949. Nine years later, Li’s wife, Nai-nai, comes to live with her son’s family in New York City, bringing a whole new world of sights, smells, and tastes as she quickly takes control of the kitchen. Nai-nai’s tantalizingly exotic cooking opens up the heart and mind of her American granddaughter to her Chinese heritage-and to the world. Through her grandmother’s traditional cuisine Leslie bridges the cultural divide in an America in which she is a minority-as well as the growing gap at home between her rigid, traditional Chinese father and her progressive American-born mother. Interspersed throughout her intimate and moving memoir are the author’s personal recipes, most from Nai-nai’s kitchen, that add a delicious dimension to the work.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Biographies & Memoirs / Cooking