Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mr. Ding’s Chicken Feet: On a Slow Boat from Shanghai to Texas” as Want to Read:
Mr. Ding’s Chicken Feet: On a Slow Boat from Shanghai to Texas
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mr. Ding’s Chicken Feet: On a Slow Boat from Shanghai to Texas

3.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  33 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
After accepting a job teaching English on a small engineering vessel traveling from Shanghai to Texas, Gillian Kendall embarks on a strange journey with no ports of call but exotic emotional landscapes. She is the only female aboard, surrounded by Chinese men. The cosmopolitan graduate student suddenly has to adjust to an alien world, thick with cigarette smoke, unusual se ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 29th 2006 by University of Wisconsin Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mr. Ding’s Chicken Feet, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mr. Ding’s Chicken Feet

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 60)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 20, 2010 Susan rated it it was amazing
When Gillian Kendall, a struggling PhD student, is in dire need of cash to pay bills and eat, she jumps at the opportunity to teach English to Chinese sailors aboard a ship for 6 weeks. As the only woman on board and only one of two Americans, she has her work cut out for her, not only to teach English to 20 sailors, some from scratch, but to ward off unwanted advances from potential admirers. What she doesn't expect is to do some real soul-searching and figure what she wants from life. Humorous ...more
Allen Peckett
Mar 23, 2016 Allen Peckett rated it really liked it
Not exactly packed with action but some good one liners. deep, emotional stuff in places. A second read is a bit like watching Rocky as an adult, you realise what the story is really about.
Michelle Powers
Mar 06, 2009 Michelle Powers rated it really liked it
A grad student takes a job as an English teacher on a Chinese ship going from Shanghai to Texas. The men are going to be working in Panama and she needs to teach them enough English to communicate with other vessels. She is one of two Americans and she is the only female. I liked the story and her writing and I liked her. She was honest about what she liked and didn't like, feeling homesick, feeling funny about being the only woman at times, the description of her students, her plans for when sh ...more
May 10, 2007 Catherine rated it really liked it
The author writes about her time spent on a Chinese boat from Shanghai to Galveston, Texas as an English teacher in 1991. Since it was so long ago, maybe she had to rely on her journals, so there was some depth missing in her stories. Some of the book touches on her confusion about her sexuality. She leaves behind a long-term boyfriend to go on this voyage, but during this journey she questions whether she wants to remain with the boyfriend or not, and her longing for a relationship with a woman ...more
Karen Neal
Apr 13, 2009 Karen Neal rated it really liked it
Freelance writer Gillian Kendall recalls an unusual English as a Second Language assignment. As a graduate student, she is hired to teach English to Chinese crew members of a small engineering ship which is traveling from Shanghai to Texas. Kendall describes the tight quarters of the ship, long days and nights at sea, storms, and differences in language, customs, and food. This is quite an unusual and enjoyable travel narrative.
Aug 28, 2008 Julie rated it liked it
This was a cute little book and a very quick read. I enjoyed the story but felt it was too narrow. There seemed to be a lot more she was hinting at which could have been developed into a broader story.
Aug 28, 2007 John rated it really liked it
Quite a lot of backstory here, but once the trip got underway I was hooked. Worth reading to find out how the author (ESL teacher to an all-Chinese crew) saves Mr. Ding's life if for no other reason!"
Jul 19, 2010 Chris rated it liked it
The cultural stuff was very interesting. The storytelling sort of slight. Doesn't dig too deeply.
Michael Yeaman
Michael Yeaman rated it really liked it
Jul 08, 2016
Eva Peters
Eva Peters is currently reading it
Mar 20, 2016
Deb added it
Mar 09, 2016
Scott Miller
Scott Miller marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2016
Libby Chennell
Libby Chennell marked it as to-read
Dec 30, 2015
Samantha Gies
Samantha Gies marked it as to-read
Nov 17, 2015
Jennifer rated it really liked it
Aug 13, 2015
Rae rated it really liked it
Jun 08, 2015
T rated it liked it
Apr 06, 2015
Anne marked it as to-read
Mar 18, 2015
Laurie rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2015
Emma marked it as to-read
Aug 17, 2014
Reinhardt marked it as to-read
Aug 06, 2014
Nina marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2014
Joanne rated it liked it
Jul 07, 2014
Christie Yerger
Christie Yerger marked it as to-read
Mar 24, 2014
Kerstinchen marked it as to-read
Sep 22, 2013
David Mahaffey
David Mahaffey marked it as to-read
Aug 13, 2013
Dina rated it it was amazing
Aug 02, 2013
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Sandra Gail Lambert writes fiction, memoir, and essays that are influenced by the landscapes of Florida and the journey of her own body.

Her writing can be found in the anthologies "Something to Declare," "Lavanderia," and "First Person Queer."

She lives in Gainesville, Florida, and for more information link to her weblog at"

More about Gillian Kendall...

Share This Book