Friday, January 14, 2011

Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen by Marilyn Chin ****

Mei Ling and Mooncake went to Stanford and Harvard to study medicine, but beyond that they break all the stereotypes of of conservative, studious Chinese-American women. Marilyn Chin's debut novel, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen, presents a mosaic of growing up Chinese in California - 41 tales - some fables - some contemporary - all woven together to give a deep view of a culture both insulated and integrated with American popular culture.

The view is a post-feminist world where powerful women seduce the good guys and slaughter the bad guys. This includes not only Mei Ling and Mooncake, but also their grandmothers. In a book explicitly titled "a novel," the author unfolds short stories about delivering Chinese food from the family restaurant - Double Happiness - on New Years Eve and fables of mythical ancestors who visit the girls in their dreams.

A wonderful collection of stories both unique to the Chinese-American experience and universal to the women in contemporary American culture.

No comments: